Trauma after Critical Illness

Over 20% percent of intensive care unit (ICU) patients show symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even six months after discharge.  ICU patients experience extreme situations that can include getting devastating news, intense pain, continuous disruptions and lack of sleep, powerful medications, and contemplations of their own death.  Not only are the combined experiences traumatic for the patient and loved ones, but the impact of the memories can linger indefinitely, impacting overall quality of life in untold ways.  For those who may be affected, I encourage seeking evidence based interventions such as “psychological first aid,” and psychological and medical treatments for PTSD.  If interested in a more detailed description of treatment of PTSD from critical illness, check out a recent publication by researchers in the United Kingdom who wrote about adopting a cognitive treatment model developed by Clark and Ehlers (Murray et al., 2020 Cog Beh Ther).  

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