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Words that heal: ICU journals at Penn help patients and staff

Stacey Burling

The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Paul Nappi arrived at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center's intensive care unit suffering from a severe lung problem on March 8.
The 53-year-old Chester County man, already depleted by cancer treatments and a December bout with pneumonia, was unconscious and hooked to a breathing machine. His family was told he might not make it through the night.
They also were given a small spiral notebook labeled ICU Healing Journal. The family could fill it with words that could help hospital staff understand who Nappi is. Doctors, nurses, and therapists would add entries offering support and explaining what Nappi was going through. The journal could help him adjust to life after the ICU — if he survived.

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