Rehabilitating the critically ill: a cultural shift in intensive care unit care.
- Richard D Griffiths
- Critical care medicine
‘‘It is hard to convey just how debilitated one is after an insult of ICU magnitude,’’ says Professor Cheryl Misak in a moving essay in this issue of the Journal (pp. 845–846) that reminds us that our business is not merely to save lives but to recover the lives of our patients and their loved ones (1). Not everyone, so impressively, has the drive, motivation, and capacity to overcome the profound physical weakness, cognitive impairment, and psychological barriers that an ICU stay can deliver. The last two decades of follow-up research have shown that these problems confront and complicate the rehabilitation of our patients, but they have also shown how the outlook can be good, given appropriate and focused help (2).