Compulsive reading thank you!

I have known about ICU steps for some time and used the booklets on the critical care unit where I work. I just joined the website and wanted to express my gratitude to all the bloggers. You cannot imagine how powerful your words are. Many of the subjects you write about have been covered in nursing and medical journals and are well recognised phenomena but to hear about them from your perspective is a totally different story. The emotion, distress, courage, motivation and humour has had me gripped. As health care professionals we really need to hear these recounts. I am leader for an academic critical care course (gives nurses the theory behind their practice) and have posted the link on the course website, the students have got to be aware of the implications of being critically ill and have shared the link with clinical colleagues on my own unit and the surrounding area. Delirium prevention and management, follow-up and rehabilitation after critical illness are gathering momentum within the critical care community and many things can be improved without the need for lots of extra cash, spending cuts are not an excuse. Use of diaries, giving verbal and written information to patients and relatives, offering patients the opportunity to visit the unit after discharge, liaising better with wards and GPs on discharge all help and can be implemented relatively easily. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences it is really useful.

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  • Thank you so much for your feedback. It is painful to look at what happened to us in ICU and I think we feel we are doing it to raise awareness not just for other patients and relatives, but also for staff so that things can change and improve, so I am so pleased you are using our testimony with students and practitioners. We all found the transfer to an 'ordinary' ward very difficult, partly because the staff don't seem to know where you've come from (for example, that you weren't a planned surgical admission). We wondered on one of my focus group sessions whether people's notes could be marked in some way to indicate they've come from Critical Care and may need extra support from nursing staff.

  • I couldn't agree with you more the transfer to a general ward was the worst time I can remember, the nurses had no idea of the trauma I had been through, the only bright side was when a doctor and some of the nurses from ICU came to see how I was coping.

    I've been invited by one of the ICU nurses who is doing a study into tranfer to wards and asked me to do a talk to HA's so they understand how difficult the move can be, I hope it will be the start of a change in the way things are done.

  • I agree wit the comments on transfer to a general ward from ICU. I was in ICU for 32 days on a air controlled mattress bed in a more or less sitting position. Having tubes cleaned, removed, inserted or one of my drains jiggled. I seemed to have some form of intra-action all of the time.

    Once moved, the bed was not as comfortable I did not see many people/ nurses and felt very alone. I still think it must of felt like the first time you move to senior school. I to had a ICU nurse come to see if I was okay and he was very understanding and did try to put the benefits over (Going home) I did get myself stuck in the loo as I let my zimmer slip away and it seemed an age before I got help. I have been to one of the ICU's I was in and think it was worth the time and effort.

    But it was not until 3 months had passed that I was told how ill I had been. All I had said to me was "You have been lucky"

  • I do agree being moved to the ward was scary. I remember having slipped down the bed into a very uncomfortable position and staying there for hours, because I dare not ask the nurse to help me.

  • Definitely had a feeling of being dumped from ICU to general ward and suffered adjustment disorder.

  • It's good to know that what us patients write the medical teaching staff take on board. I'm new to this site having stumbled on it trying to find some help online for all the weird things that are happening to me since I left hospital. I had spent 5 weeks in total, 4 in ITU on a ventilator. When I was woken up all they kept saying was I'd been very very sick and extremely lucky to pull through. I was now to move onto a ward. No more info that was it. I moved done to a medical ward and all was rather frightening as no one seemed to know much about me or what had happened. At the time I couldn't walk or do much more for myself. I left the ward for home 4 days later. With my paperwork to give my GP.

    I have lots of unexplained frightening things going on, hair loss, nail ridges, bloated stomach, deformed left toe/foot. I feel alone, grumpy, not myself at all. Very weepy at times. Very tired walking is hard but I'm expected it seems to be myself as everyone puts it ' I'm lucky '.

    Any help would be welcome.

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