Intubation in ICU Linked to PTSD
Patients who had been depressed prior to their hospitalization, and those who were in the ICU longer, were more likely to experience symptoms. Other apparent factors associated with a greater likelihood of a PTSD experience were those given high doses of opiates and those who developed bloodstream infections.
In fact, Bienvenu says, sepsis, or infections of the bloodstream, may play an important role in causing chemical confusion in the brain, perhaps in the amygdala, an area "important for fear conditioning," he says.
Infection may lead to an inflammation cascade that breaks down the blood brain barrier, and produces a bolus of noradrenaline. This somehow may allow traumatic memories of the hospital experience to be implanted, yet distorted, and that is what is recalled in subsequent delusions of what actually took place.
"Everyone remembers where they were on 9/11," Bienvenu explains. "We have a tendency to remember things that were emotionally arousing. These patients were on the verge of death, by definition, so a lot of experiences would be remembered vividly" except for the chemical reactions underway.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
- Resisting the Healthcare Consolidation Frenzy
- Give Nurses in Wheelchairs a Chance
- 3 Better Ways to Market Bariatric Surgery
- HL20: George Halvorson—Expectations for Success
- New G-Codes to Pay Doctors for Broad Array of Non-Face-to-Face Care
- Top 3 Health Plan Game Changers of 2013
- AMCs React to Being Shut Out of Some Exchange Plans
- MGMA Urges 'End-to-End' ICD-10 Testing
- Q&A: Ardis Dee Hoven 'Optimistic' SGR Will Be Repealed
- MU Compliance Announcement Sparks Concern, Confusion