Intensive Care

Not remembering what happened to you is very common

Patients' memories of Intensive Care can often be hazy or “jumbled”. It can be difficult to piece together what happened before being admitted to Intensive Care, and what happened while you were there. Some people remember only the end of their time in Intensive Care, while others remember almost nothing.

Some people are happy not to remember very much, but for others, "not knowing" can be upsetting. Some people are only ready to find out more in the weeks, months and sometimes years after getting home. Others just want to put it behind them. It's completely up to you whether or not you'd like to find out more about what happened in Intensive Care.

Having strange dreams or nightmares is very common

It's really common to have strange and sometimes frightening dreams or hallucinations (sometimes called "delirium"). They can seem so real that it can be difficult to work out whether they actually happened or not. Making sense of your time in Intensive Care can therefore be difficult. In this section, we've provided examples of other people's experiences, including easy to use links to other websites, where you can watch short video clips or listen to voice recordings from other patients.

Would you like to find out more about what happens in Intensive Care?

Some people find it helpful to "fill in the blanks". Others prefer to put it all behind them. There's no wrong or right, and it's completely up to you whether, when and how you want to find out more. In this section, we’ve provided some general information on common equipment and treatments, including how and why they’re used. We’ve also provided some information on routine care, the types of staff involved in your care and the sorts of things they will have done to help you.

 

You have 88 results.

Apply a filter below to refine your search results.

Article: "I don't remember much about Intensive Care"

It’s extremely common for patients to remember very little of their time in Intensive Care. Sometimes patients “lose” the few days prior to ending up in Intensive Care and may struggle to make sense of how they ended up there. “The last thing I remember was…the ambulance. I don’t remember anything else until I woke up weeks later.” (Elizabeth, 61) “It felt very strange…because I really wasn't sure whether I was ill,...

Article: “I had these strange dreams.”

What kinds of memories or dreams do people have? It is very common for patients to have strange memories, dreams or hallucinations. They can seem very real...so real, that no matter how strange they are, patients are often unsure whether they happened or not. They can often be remembered in detail for some time afterwards. The dreams that people have can sometimes be very frightening, but sometimes pleasant or funny. Here are some examples of other people's dreams.We hope...

Web Link: Adults with Incapacity Act (Scotland)

The Adults with Incapacity Act (Scotland, 2000) is concerned with safeguarding the welfare and managing the finances of those who are unable to do so for themselves.  It applies to Intensive Care patients who are too ill or otherwise unable (if they are sedated, confused or unconscious, for example) to make their own decisions. This link will take you to the legislation.gov.uk website that will give you further information on the act and what it means for you and your loved one.

Article: Alarms

The ICU is more noisy than a general hospital ward largely because of the operation of the equipment, often beeping or sounding an alarm. If you do hear an alarm it doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong, just that there’s something the staff need to be aware of. The nurses will be able to explain the equipment and noises to you should you have concerns about the alarms.

Web Link: Anticipatory care-planning ahead

This link will take you to Healthcare Improvement Scotland's webpages on "anticipatory care". Anticipatory Care Planning is a "thinking ahead" approach in which healthcare professionals work together with patients and their families (or carers) to make sure that care is coordinated. It can be really helpful for people who have complicated care needs. You can print off a booklet from the website, or download a free app. There are some short videos of...

Web Link: A-Z of health conditions

This link will take you to an NHS page with information on 100's of conditions, symptoms and treatments. It's not exhaustive, but we hope you find it helpful.

Web Link: A-Z of medicines

This link will take you to an NHS page explaining how 100s of different medications work, what they're for, how to take them and possible side-effects. It's not exhaustive, but we hope you find it helpful. 

Document: Banking for people unable to make decisions for themselves

This short document is written by the British Bankers' Association. It gives advive on how to apply for access to your family member or friend's bank account while they are too ill or unable to look after their own finances.Pleaswe note that it applies to Scotland only.

Web Link: Bereavement support

Sadly, not everyone survives Intensive Care. We are very sorry for your loss.This is the link to Cruse Bereavement Care in Scotland. They are able to provide free advice or one-to-one counselling sessions.