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Post-intensive Care Syndrome: What Happens After the ICU?

Kathryn Radigan, MD, MSc

Relias Media

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The number of ICU patients admitted annually continues to grow, with most recent estimates reaching 5.7 million. As there are growing numbers of critically ill patients, sepsis survivorship also has grown as a substantial public health concern, with a significant number of survivors diagnosed with post-intensive care syndrome (PICS). PICS is defined as a new or worsening impairment in mental, cognitive, or physical health status after critical illness and lasting beyond hospitalization for acute care. It is important to go beyond saving lives in the ICU and devote additional time and attention to preventing and treating the psychiatric, cognitive, and physical sequalae of ICU illness in the follow-up setting.

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