CRITICAL Care Unit staff at Stafford Hospital have launched a pioneering new clinic for former patients and their families to help them deal with some of the longer-term problems caused by being dangerously ill.
Medical research has found that many sedated and ventilated patients experience problems during their recovery, such as hallucinations, paranoia, nightmares, fear, fatigue and weakness.
However, there is less understanding about the long-term effects that critical illness has on a patient’s recovery once they have been discharged from hospital.
CCU Sister Sandra Barrington said:”Our aim is to create an environment where patients and carers feel comfortable and safe to talk about their experience and for us to answer any questions they may have in relation to their condition and time spent on the unit.
“They are also given the opportunity to return to the unit and see the area where they received care, which can help them fill in the gaps of time lost while critically ill. This can often help address concerns or fears that are making it difficult for individuals to move on with their lives.”
Clinics are held for patients who spent more than 72 hours sedated and on a ventilator, though staff will also see other patients who may benefit from extra help. Patients are invited to an hour long appointment, three months after discharge with a further appointment offered if needed.