Neurocritical Care

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 313–317 | Cite as

Do Survivors of Acute Neurologic Injury Remember Their Stay in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit?

  • Sara Hocker
  • Heidi L. Anderson
  • Katherine E. McMahon
  • Eelco F. M. Wijdicks



Patients in medical, surgical, and trauma intensive care units (ICUs) are at risk for later development of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because acute brain injury can impair recall; we sought to show that neuroscience patients undergoing prolonged neuroscience ICU admission have limited memory of their ICU stay and thus are less likely to develop symptoms of PTSD.


We surveyed patients >18 years admitted for 10 days or more to our neuroscience ICU over a 10-year period.


The survey response rate was 50.5 % (47/93). Forty percent (19/47) of respondents presented with coma. Recall of details of the ICU admission was limited. Fewer than 10 % of patients who required mechanical ventilation recalled being on a ventilator. Only five patients (11 %) had responses suggestive of possible post-traumatic stress syndrome. The most commonly experienced symptoms following discharge were difficulty sleeping, difficulty with concentration, and memory loss.


Patients requiring prolonged neuroscience ICU admission do not appear to be traumatized by their ICU stay.


Neuroscience intensive care unit Memory Post-traumatic stress disorder 

Supplementary material

12028_2013_9833_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Hocker
    • 1
  • Heidi L. Anderson
    • 1
  • Katherine E. McMahon
    • 1
  • Eelco F. M. Wijdicks
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Critical Care NeurologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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