Anorak News | Post ICU syndrome in the age of Covid-19

Post ICU syndrome in the age of Covid-19

by | 27th, April 2020

I’ve been in intensive care. I remember the nurse from Redcar who made me laugh. She worked with the strength of purpose and efficiency of a submarine commander. I remember the brightly lit room, my back being to the window so I couldn’t see out and wondering about the man to my left who’d been in there for over a year. I don’t remember sleeping. Does that matter? Diagnosis changes how you sleep. Treatment does something else. I can relate to the stories of people who wake suddenly in the night. I’ve found myself stood on the bed, dashing around outside the bedroom or heading for the front door. Is that behaviour linked to my health? Recurring nightmares are one of the hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder. But that’s not it. It’s not a nightmare I’m having. It’s more like a trip. Dr Dhruv Khullar looks at what some are calling post-ICU syndrome and what it means in the age of Covid-19:

Among the patients I care for at the hospital is a young woman recovering from covid-19. To keep her blood oxygenated, she needs a device called a non-rebreather mask… It’s considered an advanced oxygen-delivery device, because it supplies more oxygen than a simple nasal cannula; it is also cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear. But the mask, my patient says, isn’t her biggest problem; neither is her cough or shortness of breath. Her biggest problem is her nightmares. She can’t sleep. When she closes her eyes, she’s scared she won’t wake up. If she does fall asleep, she jolts awake, frenzied and sweating, consumed by a sense of doom. She sees spider-like viruses crawling over her. She sees her friends and family dying. She sees herself intubated in an I.C.U. for the rest of time

The ill and the well is a true divide. You cross the line with a jolt…

Spotter: The New Yorker

Posted: 27th, April 2020 | In: Strange But True Comment | TrackBack | Permalink