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Survivorship Will Be the Defining Challenge of Critical Care in the 21st Century

Survivorship Will Be the Defining Challenge of Critical Care in the 21st Century

Distracted by the high mortality rate of critical illness, we tend to overlook the essential fact that most patients survive the intensive care unit (ICU).

Every year, millions of patients are discharged from the ICU to face the challenges of critical illness survivorship—the complex burdens and legacies of surviving a potentially fatal disease, often after harsh and painful treatment.

The emerging picture of critical illness survivorship is deeply disturbing. In the year or two after discharge, patients are ravaged.

They cannot walk. They cannot think clearly. They suffer from post-traumatic psychiatric syndromes.

Their bodies hurt, are disfigured, and refuse to function like they did before.

Many intensivists have a file of heartbreaking letters from former patients, grateful to be alive but desperate for help in getting their lives back.

CriticalCare.news
February 25, 2020

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