Total Rehabilitation of the Critically Ill
Total rehabilitation of critically ill patients requires a strategy in which the goal is to help recover the lives of patients and to return their well-being to the best that is possible . The key lesson over the last 25 years, supported by the testimony of patients and their carers, is that the strategy must appreciate the myriad factors that impact physically, psychologically, emotionally and socially on the pathway back to health. Rehabilitation must start early within the intensive care unit (ICU) and involve the family and carers, because the effects of a critical illness are not merely experienced by the patient but have a deep impact on the family and the environment to which they will return. This underlines the fundamental difference between rehabilitation versus follow-up (Table 1); the latter is an inclusive but passive observational process of information gathering that may inform general outcome. Experience during and after an ICU stay shows that to recover lives one needs a distinct early active and selective decision-making process with a therapeutic strategy that starts within the ICU to optimize the recovery of the patient and the family following what most likely has been their most challenging life experience .
KeywordsIntensive Care Unit Critical Illness Intensive Care Unit Patient Intensive Care Unit Stay Intensive Care Unit Survivor
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