So you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) in the news recently due to COVID-19, but did you know that PICS is not a new concept and commonly occurs in any patient who has been in the ICU?
What exactly is PICS?
PICS is “new or worsening impairments in physical, cognitive, or mental health status arising after critical illness and persisting beyond acute care hospitalization.” These impairments can lead to a decrease in mobility, endurance, ability to perform activities of daily living (such as bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning), ability to return to work, and increase fall risk as well as caregiver burden. PICS occurs in people of all ages and the effects can last for over a year! Research has shown up to 70% of people who survive a critical illness continue to have physical impairments after one year, 50-60% continue to have cognitive deficits after two years, 20-30% continue to have mental health impairments after one year, and 43% are unable to ever return to their pre-hospital employment. Research also shows us that approximately one third of those who survive a critical illness are re-admitted to the hospital within one month.
What can be done?
The good news is the effects of PICS can be managed thru a comprehensive rehab plan! Referral to physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy should be initiated during your hospital stay as soon as possible. Referrals to social work, dietitian, and/or a mental health profession may also be needed. We know it can take months to years to overcome the deficits experienced after hospitalization, yet a study using 2012 data showed only 33% of Medicare beneficiaries received therapy following discharge from the ICU! No matter your age, once discharged from the hospital, be sure you continue your therapy so you do not become one of the above statistics!
If you or your loved one has recently been hospitalized, contact Wells Rehab & Wellness. Together we can continue your recovery at home!
James M Smith, Alan C Lee, Hallie Zeleznik, Jacqueline P Coffey Scott, Arooj Fatima, Dale M Needham, Patricia J Ohtake, Home and Community-Based Physical Therapist Management of Adults With Post–Intensive Care Syndrome, Physical Therapy, , pzaa059, https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzaa059
Falvey J, et al. CT-55. Presented at: Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Critical Care Congress; Feb. 16-19, 2020; Orlando.
Photo Credit: https://www.aftertheicu.org/what-is-pics