Key steps can help patients recover from a stay in the ICU

Key steps can help patients recover from a stay in the ICU

Your 80-something-year-old dad has just been admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit after a stroke or a heart attack. Now, he’s surrounded by blinking monitors, with tubes in his arms and alarms going off around him.

You’re scared and full of uncertainty. Will the vital, still-healthy man you’ve known recover and be able to return home?

Increasingly, the answer is yes. As many as 1.4 million seniors survive a stay in the ICU every year. And most go home, with varying degrees of disability.

ICUs are responding to older patients’ needs by helping them try to regain functioning – something that families need to pay attention to as well.

“There’s a growing recognition that preparing patients and families for recovery needs to start in the ICU,” said Dr. Meghan Brooks Lane-Fall, assistant professor of critical care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Making this transition more difficult is older patients’ vulnerability to a set of physical, cognitive and psychological problems known as “post-ICU syndrome.” This includes muscle weakness and other physical impairments; problems with thinking and memory; and symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress… Read More>>

Source: Medical Xpress

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