Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder breaks out when symptoms of anxiety and depression continue for a long time after an event which is experienced as "traumatic". Witnessing a road accident, a calamity, an attack or a war is such an heavy situation that can deeply influence the temperament of people up to exceed its powers of compensation and re-balance, until emerging symptoms that need a psychiatric therapy.
International papers demonstrate that about 20% of patient hospitalized in Intensive Care Unit develops PTSD symptoms. Admission in ICU itself is the traumatic trigger factor for these symptoms, together with the seriousness of pathologies that brought it on.
Anxiety and depression are also very common in relatives of hospitalized patient, especially if their loved dyes during stay in ICU.
Awareness about seriousness and diffusion of these problems is leading to a great effort to find out some strategies in order to diminish at least their heaviness. By the way, it has pervasively been demonstrated that the presence of real memories of the course in ICU, compared to vague memories or absence of memories, brings about a reduction of PTSD. This aspect is obviously linked to the use of analgesic and sedative drugs: keeping our patients in a state of "conscious sedation" is better than maintaining them in a state of "deep sedation". Another useful strategy is writing down diaries by relatives and operators during critical stay, as every patient could re-find a linkage with the reality of happenings also occurred while he wasn't able to notice them.

AJRCCM 2001 Kress - Longterm psychological effects of daily sedative interruption in ICU patients


CC 2010 Jones - ICU diaries reduces PTSD


CC 2011 Peris - IntraICU psychological intervention reduce PTSD symptoms


CCM 2001 Jones - Memory delusions and the development of the acute PTSD after ICU


CHEST 2011 Kross - ICU care and symptoms of PTSD among family members


ICM 2007 Griffiths - The prevalence of PTSD in·ICU survivors


ICM 2010 Jubran - PTSD after mechanical ventilation


NEJM 2007 Lautrette - A communication strategy and brochure

letteratura_pz critico cosciente_ptsd

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