Lack of after ICU care shows need for better access to neuro physio

Recent research has found that about 25% of all patients being released from intensive care units (ICUs) continue to need ongoing help for months after they have been discharged.

The survey, published in the Critical Care journal, polled nearly 300 ICU patients about their experiences. It also found that many patients continue to suffer from pain for at least a year after being released from the care units, including those requiring neurological physio.

The research was conducted by a group working together from Imperial College London and Oxford University. The team had 293 questionnaires returned to them from patients staying in ICU for at least two days.

Units in 22 hospitals across the country were covered in the study.

The results will leave many worried about how their experience within ICU will go, with 73% of all respondents reporting significant pain a year after leaving. A further 44% experience significant anxiety or depression upon leaving.

The results also showed that about 66% of patients had problems with their mobility, perhaps highlighting the need for better access to specialist physios.

Instead of getting appropriate care though, most of the patients said they were reliant on friends and family members for support.

Barry Williams, who sits on the Intensive Care Society’s patient liaison committee said:

“There is often little or no support for these people once discharged from hospital.”

The former NHS chief executive went on to call for greater efforts from the The Departments of Health and Work and Pensions to introduce an effective care policy.

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