Research Reports - Do survivors of acute neurologic injury remember their stay in the neuroscience intensive care unit?

Neurocrit Care. 2013 Apr 4

Hocker S, Anderson HL, McMahon KE, Wijdicks EF

BACKGROUND: Patients in medical, surgical, and trauma intensive care units (ICUs)
are at risk for later development of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD). Because acute brain injury can impair recall; we sought to show that
neuroscience patients undergoing prolonged neuroscience ICU admission have
limited memory of their ICU stay and thus are less likely to develop symptoms of
PTSD. METHODS: We surveyed patients >18 years admitted for 10 days or more to our
neuroscience ICU over a 10-year period. RESULTS: The survey response rate was
50.5 % (47/93). Forty percent (19/47) of respondents presented with coma. Recall
of details of the ICU admission was limited. Fewer than 10 % of patients who
required mechanical ventilation recalled being on a ventilator. Only five
patients (11 %) had responses suggestive of possible post-traumatic stress
syndrome. The most commonly experienced symptoms following discharge were
difficulty sleeping, difficulty with concentration, and memory loss. CONCLUSION:
Patients requiring prolonged neuroscience ICU admission do not appear to be
traumatized by their ICU stay.

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