Bhubaneswar, Odisha, 26 July 2021, ZEXPRWIRE, Several recent news publications have noted that the road to recovery for certain Covid-19 patients who need critical care is long. They might develop post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) after leaving the ICU, which can affect anyone who has spent time in the ICU.
What exactly is post-intensive care syndrome (PICS)?
PICS is defined as deterioration in cognitive, psychological health, and physical function in a person who has been in the ICU, according to research published in the Journal of Translational Internal Medicine. In addition, neuromuscular weakness may occur in individuals who may exhibit in the form of poor mobility and recurring falls. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder can all cause psychological impairment in a person (PTSD).
Generalized weakness, tiredness, reduced mobility, worried or sad mood, sexual dysfunction, sleep problems, and cognitive impairments are some of the most frequent PICS symptoms. According to the writers of the above-mentioned paper, these symptoms might linger for months or even years following recuperation.
What is the cause of PICS?
The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) reports that 33% of individuals on ventilators may develop ICU-acquired muscular weakness (ICUAW). In addition, 50% of individuals who develop sepsis and up to 50% of those who stay in the ICU for at least one week are at risk for ICUAW.
Patients who acquire this may require at least a year to fully recover, during which time they may struggle with daily chores such as grooming, clothing, eating, bathing, and walking.
How should PICS sufferers be treated?
It is suggested that specific evidence-based screening techniques be used to identify PICS deficiencies at home. Early detection of PICS by home health care professionals is important in assembling the physical rehabilitation, mental health, and community resources needed to minimize COVID-19 and other severe diseases’ long-term consequences.
Because of the high incidence of PICS, screening should be included in the initial home care visit. The provider should test for physical, cognitive, and behavioural health problems at the first home care session. The home care provider can determine the degree of physical function, cognitive performance, and mental health after returning home by using reliable and valid screening instruments and outcome measures. When normative data is available, it also guarantees that a person’s issues are objectively documented, monitored through time, and compared to the general population. Outcome measurements can also be used to guide referrals to other members of the interprofessional health care team, as well as to design and monitor a personalized plan of treatment on time.
Home Health Care Providers’ Role
It is critical to take an interprofessional approach to home health care for survivors of critical illness, including people with COVID-19; to provide education and resources about PICS to the patient, their family, and caregivers, as well as the health care team; and to remove barriers to home health care services. An interprofessional health care team is most suited to dealing with the wide range of physical, cognitive, and behavioural health issues that may arise. The difficulties that come with PICS are frequently intertwined and compounded, putting an enormous strain on the patient, caregivers, and health care professionals. Not only the patient and their family and caregivers, but also other physicians, benefit from education regarding the recognition, screening, treatment, and referral for the issues associated with PICS provided by the home health care provider. While the research on PICS is increasing, most of the data is published in critical care publications. As a result, many community-based health care professionals are unfamiliar with this material. Referrals to other health practitioners by home health care providers should be accompanied by reports of the patient’s performance on screening instruments since these give standardized measurements that can be persuasive regarding the amount of PICS impairment. Directing health care professionals to specialty-specific literature on PICS can also help with advocacy.
How Caare.co can bring Home Health Care Providers together
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Sahyadri Times journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.