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Mental health concerns for ICU patients

What happens during a hospital stay cannot only have impacts on a person’s physical health, it can also have implications related to mental health. Take, for instance, the mental health concerns that arise in connection to care at intensive care units. ICU patients can face risks of delirium, a state of confusion.

Delirium can lead to ICU patients facing lingering mental problems. Some patients never experience a full recovery from such problems.

Research hasn’t yet fully revealed the root causes of delirium. However, there are a range of things that experts have pointed to as having the potential to contribute to the development of this condition, including: certain illnesses or infections, certain medications, severe pain and chemical changes or oxygen problems in the brain.

A set of steps has been developed aimed at addressing the problem of delirium at ICUs. It is called the ABCDEF bundle. This is a checklist of actions that aims to reduce delirium through a more holistic approach to ICU care.

The ABCDEF bundle was pioneered at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. It has been claimed that the checklist can lower post-ICU-stay mental impairment risks for patients by 25 to 30 percent. In one study, use of the bundle was associated with increased survival odds and reduced delirium/coma length.

Use of the ABCDEF bundle at hospitals has been growing. However, there remain many hospitals that don’t use such steps in their ICU care.

Do you think the ABCDEF bundle will continue to grow in use and prominence? What impacts do you think trends on this front will have on ICU patient mental health?

Health problems, including mental health disorders, can have major long-term impacts on a person’s life. So, when negligence at hospitals leads to patient health issues, it can be important for the victims to get fairly compensated. Medical malpractice attorneys can help patients and families with pursuing such compensation.

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