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Name of Media:

Intensive care: Experiences of family & friends - Supporting and caring for the ill person at home

Author(s):

Healthtalk.org

Publisher or Source:

Healthtalk.org

Type of Media:

Testimonial

Media Originally for:

Critical Care Physicians,Former ICU Patients,Former ICU Patients' Family Members, Friends or Caregivers,General Public

Country of Origin:

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)

Primary Focus of Media:

Pre-Use of PICS Designation

COVID-19 Related:

No

Description:

Having a relative, partner or close friend in an intensive care unit (ICU) has a huge impact not only on patients, who may be unconscious or sedated at the time, but also on their relatives, whose lives may suddenly be turned upside down as they wait by the patient's bedside, not knowing whether they will live or die. Generally patients who stay in ICU the longest are those who are admitted as emergencies. Planned surgery patients tend to have a relatively short ICU and general ward stay, sometimes with a brief spell in a High Dependency Unit. Everyone who has been in intensive care recovers at his or her own pace. Many patients leave hospital very physically weak and complete recovery can sometimes take up to two years, particularly if they were admitted to ICU because of an emergency illness, surgical complication or accident.

Here people talk about supporting and caring for a relative, partner or close friend at home when they'd been discharged from hospital after being in ICU. Patients came back home at different stages of recovery. Some still found it difficult to walk. Others were able to walk with the help of a stick, Zimmer frame or wheelchair. Many were still very weak. The experiences of relatives and close friends ranged from those who provided a lot of support to the ill person at the beginning but soon resumed their normal lives, to those who became full time carers because the ill person's health had deteriorated so much after critical illness that they couldn't manage on their own.

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