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Fear of Post Intensive Care Syndrome
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Critical Care Physicians
You didn’t die. You battled COVID-19 in intensive care for more than a week. You were on a ventilator but pulled through. Now you are disabled.
This will happen to a significant number of people who discharge home after fighting COVID-19. It is typical of the course that post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) takes by creating or worsening physical impairment as well as causing cognitive and psychological impairment among patients who have been critically ill.
Neuromuscular weakness is the most common form of physical impairment that individuals acquired during a stay in the ICU, with more than 25% having poor mobility, recurrent falls, or quadri or tetra paresis.
Physical symptoms often resolve within 12 months after discharge from an acute care setting. However, research shows that ICU-acquired weakness can last as long as 24 months.
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