Quality of life after intensive care
Patients are still vulnerable, say Helen Wall and Simon V Baudouin
Unfortunately, the initial celebrations and elations after a patient is discharged from the intensive care unit are often short lived. It is rarely the end of the traumatic period for the patient and their loved ones. Even more unfortunate is the lack of awareness of this among some doctors, patients, and their carers.
Every member of a healthcare team will at some point come into contact with patients who are recovering from a critical illness. Being aware of the frightening experiences that these patients are going through and offering them a little support, be it a 10 minute chat about how they are feeling or letting them know that they are not going crazy, could make a difference. It is sometimes far too easy to get caught up in busy ward rounds, chaotic drug charts, and medical management plans and omit the little things that make a big difference to