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.

Document: Confusion (delirium) and Intensive Care

This is a short, easy to read booklet written by ICUSteps.It explains what delirium is, why patients in Intensive Care are often confused, what it feels like for the patient and the things family members can do to help.Some patients continue to be a little confused after they are transferred to the general wards, although this is usually temporary.

Web Link: Counselling (Life & Soul)

Life & Soul counselling is a free service, based at the Wellness Centre on Bridge Road in Balerno. Their counsellors are all trained to national standards.It's open to anyone and you can self refer. Please call the Wellness Centre on 0131 451 5226 or you can email them at lifeandsoul@stmungos.org 

Article: CPAP

What is CPAP? (pronounced see pap) CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is another way in which we can help support patients with their breathing. It involves putting a tight fitting mask over the patient's nose and mouth. The mask needs to be tight so that we can deliver extra support using air and oxygen at varying pressures.A transparent hood that fits over the head (rather like a large bubble) can also sometimes be used, as patients often find this much...

Web Link: Diaries in Intensive Care

This link will take you to the Healthtalkonline website and their page on the use of diaries in Intensive Care. Here, you can watch short videos and listen to voice files on other people's experiences of keeping a diary for their loved one.

Article: Diaries in Intensive Care (family information)

What is a diary? A diary is a booklet written for patients about their time in Intensive Care. Some Intensive Care Units use patient diaries and some don’t. They’ve been used for a number of years in other countries, but are only just beginning to be used in the UK. More research is needed to find out if and how they help. Why might (some) patients find a diary helpful? Patients often can’t remember how they ended up in Intensive Care, or what happened while...

Article: Diaries in Intensive Care (patient information)

What is a diary? A diary is a booklet written for patients about their time in Intensive Care. Some Intensive Care Units use patient diaries and some don’t. They’ve been used for a number of years in other countries, but are only just beginning to be used in the UK. More research is needed to find out if and how they help. Why might (some) patients find a diary helpful? You might not be able to remember what happened to you in Intensive Care, or have strange dreams or...

Article: Dietitian

What does a dietitian do on the wards? The Dietitian works closely with the ward staff to make sure that you are able to take in enough nutrition to support your recovery. This might involve things like checking your weight and what you are eating, arranging for you to have additional snacks or supplements (usually high calorie or protein drinks) and giving advice on the types of things you should eat after you go home. Some patients continue to need nutritional support through a...

Web Link: End of life decisions

Sadly, some patients don't survive Intensive Care.In some cases, incredibly difficult decisions have to be made about whether it's in the patient's best interests to continue treatment, when it seems certain that their condition won't improve.We're so sorry, if this is the case for you.It might help to hear about other people's experiences about making these types of decisions, both within the family and with the medical staff on Intensive Care. This link will...

Article: Feeding Tubes

Feeding in the intensive care It’s very important for patients in the intensive care unit to maintain an adequate nutrition and calorie intake in order to fight the infection and aid recovery after prolonged illness, so while they are unable to eat enough normally, we use tube feeding. There are several feeding tubes that may be used in the ICU: Nasogastric tube - A nasogastric tube is the most common type of feeding tube used.  These are long thin tubes, placed by a nurse or the...

Article: Fluids and medications

Fluids When patients are connected to a ventilator or breathing machine, they are unable to drink normally. Fluids are therefore given directly into the bloodstream via drips or lines.The nurses carefully monitor and record how much fluid the patient receives along with the patient's vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure,etc), daily blood tests and how much urine they pass to make sure that he or she is receiving the right amount of fluids. Medication Medication can...