This month marks one year since we started breaking down the many aspects that encompass Post Intensive Care Syndrome. As a brief recap here are the highlights that we have shared during this series. Click on the links within this recap to visit each blog for a more in depth look.
People with PICS often experience the following:
- Body: Tiredness, weakness, pain
- Mind: Forgetfulness, confusion, decreased concentration
- Emotions: Depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, flashbacks, and nightmares
The following is a list and explanation of some of the associated conditions and/or critical care interventions that are currently recognized as risk factors for the development of PICS.
- Body – Physical activity is one the most important keys to recovery for the critically ill/injured patient. It is increasingly common now for patients to begin working with therapy while still hospitalized – even starting in the intensive care unit!
- Mind – Working with an occupational therapist is highly suggested for anyone who believes they or a loved one may be experiencing PICS. An occupational therapist is a healthcare provider who helps individuals relearn life skills, such as activities of daily living or complete tasks that are meaningful to them while maintaining independence.
- Emotions – You are not alone in your struggle following critical illness. There is an expanding global network of Peer Support groups focused on ICU recovery sponsored by the Society of Critical Care Medicine. A list of the current groups can be found by following this link: Peer Support Group Directory
Increased demands placed on family members and loved ones caring for the critically ill can quickly become overwhelming. There are steps that loved ones and family members can take to minimize the negative effects that an ICU environment can have:
Come back often as we continue to explore recovery from critical illness/injury.
In the meantime, join our conversation online. Have you or a loved one experienced critical illness/injury? You’re not alone. Share your story and connect with others who have been on the same journey: Intensive Care (ICU)