Muscle weakness, memory problems, depression, insomnia, physical pain, nightmares. These are just a few examples of the problems that patients may experience following critical illness. Symptoms such as these which affect emotional, physical, and cognitive health are now being recognized as Post Intensive Care Syndrome, or PICS. Efforts to educate health care providers, patients, and families about Post Intensive Care Syndrome are underway. Explore our site to learn more about PICS.


What is PICS?

Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) is new or worse health problems after critical illness. These problems can affect your mind, body, thoughts, and/or feelings.


What is PICS-F?

Having a loved one experiencing a critical illness is an intense stressor on a family as a whole. Often times, family members neglect their own personal needs as they focus their energy on their loved one. The ICU environment is often unfamiliar and can cause anxiety for those who find themselves there. It is not unusual for family members of critically ill people to experience symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disturbance, and depression. These symptoms are termed Post Intensive Care Syndrome - Family or PICS-F.


Why does it matter?

  • These new health problems can potentially affect your ability to return to previous level of functioning as well as your overall quality of life
  • May affect you, your family, or both


What to do if you think you have PICS or PICS-F?

  • Know the warning signs
    • Muscle weakness or problems with balance
    • Problems with thinking and memory
    • Severe anxiety
    • Depression
    • Nightmares
  • Contact your primary care provider if you develop any of the above symptoms or have concerns that you or a loved one may be suffering from PICS
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