Intensive care - easing the trauma

Paul Skirrow, Christina Jones, Richard D. Griffiths and Sue Kaney (Liverpool University’s Intensive Care Research Group) describe some of the little-known psychological consequences of a stay in intensive care.
INTENSIVE care units (ICUs) are facing increasing demands, partly as a result of the gradual ‘greying’ of the population in Great Britain. As a consequence, the provision of intensive care services has become an important area of both political and scientific interest over recent years. What is only now becoming apparent is the high rate of post-ICU psychological problems. While one might expect an ICU stay with a life-threatening illness to be fairly traumatic, the rate of major psychological problems such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is surprisingly high.

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