Acute Care MedicineCritical CareSMACCCritical Care survivors: Margaret Herridge

Critical Care survivors: Margaret Herridge

In this podcast, Margaret Herridge considers this well-known quote from Nietzsche, “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” But… Does it?

What about our patients who suffer from a critical illness? The continuum of critical illness and what lies ahead for recovery should not be underestimated.

Post critical illness, it is not uncommon for patients to suffer from a functional disability, a neuropsychological disability, or a decline in their general sense of wellness and vitality.

Evidently, patients who have suffered from a critical illness regularly have trouble trying to reintegrate back into normal life. Moreover, what about the mental illness concerns for both patients and their families post critical illness? We know that post traumatic stress disorder is common for recovering patients and their families.

So… knowing this, are our patients actually stronger post illness?

Traditionally, the focus of critical care has simply been on keeping patients alive. This is not enough, now we need to focus on giving them their lives back too. We do this by making sure that we know our patients and their families and that we help people understand the continuum of illness and recovery.

Furthermore, it is important to make sure that the treatment which we deliver every day aligns with the goals and values of our patients and their families.

Ultimately, we must know them in order to understand this. Margaret explains post traumatic growth as a change in the perception of oneself, a change in the experience of relationships or a change in one’s life philosophy.

Finally, perhaps there is an opportunity for growth post critical illness and this is a positive outcome. However, we must not underestimate what it means to be a critical illness survivor.

From DAS SMACC, Margaret Herridge delivers an inspirational talk on what it means to be a critical care survivor.

Critical Care survivors: Margaret Herridge

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Margaret Herridge