Intensive care really is one of the miracles of modern medical treatment. And when you consider of the sheer amount of lives that are saved by critical-care medicine worldwide each year, it’s an extremely humbling thought. And one that no doubt makes the vast majority of us extremely thankful to live in an age of such sophisticated technology and advanced drug treatments.
This week there’s an interesting story on the BBC about the psychological after effects of intensive care. According to a recent study – which was based on the experiences of patients in a London hospital – just over half (55%) of people who receive critical-care treatment go on to suffer from mental health problems. The disorders that affect people in this post intensive care situation include depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
Obviously – given the nature of intensive care medicine – a patient’s time there is bound to have a psychological impact, but the study’s results, according to the article, have surprised health professionals as the number and scale of post treatment psychological disorders was greater than expected.
The research means that things like sedation and other drug treatments, along with psychological care will be looked at in detail to see how they can be improved, and ensure that patients get back to mental as well as physical heath as soon as possible.