PTSD after being an ICU patient

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    From the NY Times a video about PTSD after being a patient in ICU. Makes sense to me, but something I never thought about (but then again I have never worked ICU). The end of video discusses how some nurses create a diary for patients to take home to help piece together their ICU stay. Not sure how much time that takes, or what liabilities might arise from a diary, but it is interesting idea.

    http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/07...r-the-icu.html
    Esme12 and dirtyhippiegirl like this.
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  4. 0
    Okay, I haven't watched the video, but there was an article about this in one of my nursing journals recently (I didn't read it). It makes complete sense that there would be lasting emotional and psychological effects from an ICU stay.
  5. 0
    Quote from elprup
    From the NY Times a video about PTSD after being a patient in ICU. Makes sense to me, but something I never thought about (but then again I have never worked ICU). The end of video discusses how some nurses create a diary for patients to take home to help piece together their ICU stay. Not sure how much time that takes, or what liabilities might arise from a diary, but it is interesting idea.

    http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/07...r-the-icu.html
    The link doesn't work for me.
  6. 0
    I can't get the link to copy correctly either, google "NY times nightmares after the ICU" and you'll find it.
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    This has been the hot topic lately. It's turning out that most, if not everyone, who develops ICU delirium has a resulting PTSD that can last years, and about 70% of ICU patients suffer some sort of delirium.
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    well if you were "held prisoner" in a strange place and your next breath depended on a stranger making right decisions and medicines made you goofy----I guess I see where the PTSD comes in. If a diary is a coping tool, maybe the staff can get IS to develop a template in which the nurse just check certain items on a list, like visitor at noon, Dr. in at 3:00----good topic to follow.
    MassED and Not_A_Hat_Person like this.
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    We used to call it 'ICU Psychosis'. After considering all the 'personal space' invasion (including restraints), noise bombardment (non-stop TV and intercoms) and continual faux daylight, I'm not surprised that there's residual PTSD. It sounds like prison torture that was outlawed by the Geneva Convention.

    I'm particularly sensitive to this because of an experience many, many years ago in a hosp I worked. We were trying to posey a very confused, at risk pt. He started yelling out in some European language. A hskpg aide passing by stopped in the hall, then came in. She translated that he had 'flashbacked' to his experience in Nazi Germany as a POW being captured. I still get shivers when I think back to him.

    A few years back, my MOM was ICUed. We never understood what she could remember as it was very hodge-podge when she tried to explain.

    But trying to deal with ICU psychosis and resultant PTSD, maybe we need to be more proactive than reactive about our care activities, as much as realistically possible. I work LTC and I believe that nite shift is the time for pts to sleep - it's the only chance they have to really get any blocks of uninterrupted sleeptime. Yet Pt A (alert, walkie-talkie) is roommate to pt B (confused, yells out, resists, incont needing q2 hr care). Add in care for IVs, GTs, 12-6 meds, etc. How does Pt A get any good sleep???

    I know LTC is NOWHERE close to ICU but a closer look at how we control all our pts' environments may be more beneficial. Even just a little bit to help.
    MassED, Altra, and dpcRN like this.
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    I think I have PTSD from nursing school.... do you think that might be possible?
    lol jk
    WeepingAngel and MassED like this.
  11. 1
    PTSD can ruin your life. PTSD is real. PTSD is about something that happened to you, not just a "the guy is nuts mental condition" that people like to joke about. Until you have seen it in action, you can never explain it. Moreover, try to watch your 20 something son scream and cry, because he daily relives seeing a female suicide bomber's head roll on the ground while the men walking beside him die.
    MassED likes this.
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    there are psychological effects from surgery, illness, injury, labor and delivery, etc. It makes sense to acknowledge that these experiences form who we are, in small and large ways.

    There is also PTSD experienced by nurses that are witness to horrible events. We are in it with our patients. We are with them during codes, death, and traumatic events, horrible news, etc. We are nearby for all of it and are sometimes the person that families and patients hold onto for support. It is only natural that we, too, are affected by their trauma.
    Last edit by MassED on Jul 27, '13
    Altra and marydc like this.


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