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Chronic Post-ICU Pain and Post-Intensive Care Syndrome

Johnson, J.L, Al-Dahir, S.A.

US Pharmacist

Medical Research, Medical Journal

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Critical Care Physicians, Nurses and/or Other Critical Care Medical Professionals

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Post–intensive care syndrome (PICS) is a myriad of chronically
debilitating symptoms, often including chronic pain, associated with prolonged
ICU care. Though the exact mechanism of chronic post-ICU pain is unknown, it is
postulated that the severity of inflammation associated with many forms of
critical illness leads to chronic pain in patients long after resolution of their acute
critical illness. Increasing emphasis on long-term outcomes of ICU survivors
makes prevention of chronic pain and PICS a priority for multidisciplinary ICU
teams. This article discusses the prevalence and mechanisms of chronic post-ICU
pain and suggests strategies to reduce the impact of chronic pain on quality of life
in ICU survivors.

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