Intensive Care Unit Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Patients, Families, and Prevention
Millions of individuals worldwide are admitted to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) yearly after a traumatic, life threatening event. Family members keep a vigilant watch over their loved ones during their most vulnerable periods such as being restrained, sedated, and mechanically ventilated, resulting in anxiety for the family during the critical times of hospitalization and for the patient after discharge because they have no recollection of what occurred during these stressful moments. The majority of the patients admitted to the ICU are very appreciative of the medical staff for assisting them in their journey through the unpredictable days…show more content… This life altering disorder is extremely expensive to treat. ICU diaries are used to assist in the prevention of PTSD by providing patients and families with a comprehensive breakdown of their acute journey. The cost effective diaries are extremely useful in aiding the patient and family remember the most critical moments of their lives instead of having to remain oblivious to portions of their battle in the ICU.
Circumstances Surrounding the Issue
After discharge patients will look back on their experience in the ICU and try to piece together their memories of what happened, though during the times of sedation and mechanical ventilation they tend to have no remembrance of what occurred. Loved ones may be unable to fill the gap in the patients’ memory because they are not familiar with the interventions, terminology, equipment, and constant worry that accompany the ICU environment. The unknown, causing worry, distress, and misery is a triggering factor of developing PTSD in both the patient and family member (Jones, Backman, Capuzzo, Egerod, Flaatten, Granja, Rylader, Griffiths, & RACHEL group, 2010).
A study has shown that one in ten patients admitted to an ICU for a period longer than 48 hours will reluctantly suffer through the anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia, and terror of PTSD (Jones et al., 2010). ICU diaries can bring relief to the patient or family member