Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)

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.

PUBLIC PAGE
Tue, Feb 6, 2018 12:31am

Breaking it Down: Post Intensive Care Sydrome and Risk Factors

By Annie, Mayo ICU Nurse Practitioner, @andreab

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Not surprisingly, the top risk factor for developing Post Intensive Care Syndrome is experiencing critical illness or injury. However, beyond that one factor, there is a lot we have yet to learn about risk factors and how they relate to challenges in the post-ICU time period. 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.

  • Delirium. Of all the risk factors that have been examined at this time, the development of delirium during an ICU stay has been most closely associated with the development of PICS. Delirium itself is a disturbance in a person's mental abilities. It can cause one to have confused thinking and a decreased awareness of one's surroundings. Because of it's significant association to PICS, we will spend more time in future posts specifically dedicated to discussing delirium as it relates to Post Intensive Care Syndrome.
  • Length of time on bedrest. As you recall, one of the areas that PICS can affect is one's body. This risk factor is directly related to muscle loss and the development of physical weakness. The cycle of weakness can lead to physical pain and fatigue which cycles right back to more immobility and thus increased weakness. It can be a difficult cycle to break.
  • Sepsis. Sepsis is a very serious infection in the body that causes many people to become critically ill. Often times sepsis can cause different organ systems in the body to fail, which in itself is yet another risk factor for PICS.

Other risk factors that are discussed as contributing to this problem include: age, need for a breathing machine while in the ICU, use of sedative medications, preexisting mental health conditions, and others. As the medical community continues to learn more about Post Intensive Care Syndrome, certainly more will be discovered about what places people at risk.

Come back next month when we discuss specific signs and symptoms to look for in Post Intensive Care Syndrome.

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:

Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) - Let's Talk

100 days in house for my husband. Most of the time in ICU-6 surgeries and absolutely no muscle, could not sit, move his legs or lift his arms. Left with an annoying very loud noise in his head, sometimes keeps him awake, he needs a fan on to help drown out the noise. No help known for this issue.

@carcinoid

100 days in house for my husband. Most of the time in ICU-6 surgeries and absolutely no muscle, could not sit, move his legs or lift his arms. Left with an annoying very loud noise in his head, sometimes keeps him awake, he needs a fan on to help drown out the noise. No help known for this issue.

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Hi @carcinoid, welcome to Connect. I’d like to invite you to a couple of discussion groups.
Here you can connect with others dealing with post ICU symptoms: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-intensive-care-syndrome-pics-lets-talk/

And I’m guessing from your @username that you might be interested in the carcinoid cancer group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/neuroendocrine-tumors-nets/

@carcinoid

100 days in house for my husband. Most of the time in ICU-6 surgeries and absolutely no muscle, could not sit, move his legs or lift his arms. Left with an annoying very loud noise in his head, sometimes keeps him awake, he needs a fan on to help drown out the noise. No help known for this issue.

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@carcinoid I am so glad you found this Page. You and your husband are undoubtedly going through and exhaustive and intensely stressful time. One thing we know about critical illness and recovery, is that everyone experiences this so differently. The physical, emotional, and cognitive aftermath is unique to each person. However, despite that there are also incredible similarities as well. @colleenyoung previously mentioned the online discussion group that you might find very helpful. A community of people have come together to share these experiences – knowing you're not alone in this is very powerful. Welcome to the conversation.

Is PICS the same as post operative delirium?

Are there any specific strategies to deal successfully with delerium in a reasonably healthy 77 year old lady following major lung cancer surgery?

Hi Tassie,
I’m going to let @andreab answer your question about PICS and delirium. In the meantime, I’d like to connect you with others who have been dealing with post-operative delirium. @muriel66 @marield65 and @rckj talk about managing delirium in these discussions:

* Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) – Let's talk https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-intensive-care-syndrome-pics-lets-talk/?pg=17#comment-98009
* Delirium! What the medical professional should know and doesn't https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/delerium-what-the-medical-profession-should-know/

Tassie,
How long ago did you have surgery for lung cancer?

@colleenyoung

Hi Tassie,
I’m going to let @andreab answer your question about PICS and delirium. In the meantime, I’d like to connect you with others who have been dealing with post-operative delirium. @muriel66 @marield65 and @rckj talk about managing delirium in these discussions:

* Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) – Let's talk https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-intensive-care-syndrome-pics-lets-talk/?pg=17#comment-98009
* Delirium! What the medical professional should know and doesn't https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/delerium-what-the-medical-profession-should-know/

Tassie,
How long ago did you have surgery for lung cancer?

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Hi ColleenMy wife had surgery to remove a cancerous lobe of her right lung nine days ago.Before that I had no knowledge of post operative delirium. The delirium has been ranging from severe with hallucinations to light with some memory loss. Yesterday was very traumatic but today very much less.

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