Post-discharge intensive care support may aid recovery, but few patients benefit


Although patients returning home from an intensive care unit stay often need help and remain traumatized by the experience, many do not take advantage of the support groups now available in hospitals across the country. .

In fact, it’s not unusual for many doctors and counselors who lead groups to sit down and talk with each other because patients don’t show up for meetings, according to a STAT article. But just because patients and caregivers don’t need support, they just don’t know the resources are available.

“For people to even search online for a support group, there needs to be a level of knowledge about the post-ICU that doesn’t really exist among laypersons,” Daniela Lamas, MD, an intensive care physician who works in the ICU at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the publication said. While patients may seek a support group for a particular condition or injury, Lamas said they are often unaware of the support available for those who have survived and are traumatized after a stint in intensive care.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which recently launched a series of critical care recovery centers across the country, is one of 17 medical centers in the United States that have received funding from the Society of Critical Care Medicine to deliver intensive care support groups for people who have experienced serious problems, life-threatening illnesses. In addition to the support, James Jackson, Psy.D., associate professor of medicine research at Vanderbilt, hopes the support groups will help improve outcomes and help patients regain their confidence and take risks. they weren’t ready to take before.

Some hospitals, discouraged by the lack of attendance at their meetings even after promoting them in brochures and encouraging clinicians to discuss them during follow-up visits, have turned to non-traditional support group methods to reach out to patients. “Survivors of intensive care”. For example, STAT reports that Annie Johnson, a nurse practitioner at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, has started an online support community for former critical care patients and their caregivers to chat with other patients as well as with nurses and intensive care physicians.

The Society of Critical Care Medicine has also established a weekly virtual support group that focuses on post-intensive syndrome, a range of mental and physical issues that often follow a stay in intensive care.


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