Crit Care Clin 2017 Jul 21;33(3):649-658. Epub 2017 Apr 21.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street - Meyer 106, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.
This article focuses on a psychiatric morbidity in critical illness survivors, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We present a case in the second person, because it is helpful to imagine what being critically ill can be like from the perspective of a patient without medical training. One-fifth of critical illness survivors have clinically relevant PTSD symptoms in the year after intensive care, and markers of risk include prior psychiatric illness, benzodiazepine administration in the intensive care unit (ICU), and early post-ICU memories of frightening, nightmare-like experiences during intensive care. ICU diaries are a low-tech, low-cost interventions that can supplement psychiatric care.