[Medical problems in ICU survivors]

Praxis (Bern 1994). 2009 May 13;98(10):535-42. doi: 10.1024/1661-8157.98.10.535.
[Article in German]


Outpatient follow-up after intensive care unit (ICU) treatment is becoming increasingly important. The most relevant medical problems after hospital discharge are usually not directly linked to the medical condition that made intensive care necessary. The most frequent medical problem is muscle weakness. Joint contractures, pressure neuropathies, scars and hair loss can be painful, immobilising and troublesome, respectively. Chronic hoarseness, tracheomalacia, or tracheal stenosis are potential sequelae after tracheostomy. Renal dysfunction can persist after renal failure. Furthermore, posttraumatic stress disorder, panic attacks and sleep disturbances can limit the patients. Many of these problems last for months or more, the therapy is often challenging, and an interdisciplinary approach is warranted. Consequently, quality of life is generally reduced in ICU survivors.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Disease / rehabilitation
  • Critical Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease
  • Incidence
  • Switzerland