Patients at higher risk for psychiatric symptoms after ICU stay

Patients are at increased risk for mental symptoms such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression following stays in the intensive care unit, according to a study from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Researchers analyzed nearly 700 people from various institutions and found 2 out of 3 patients who survived an ICU stay due to acute respiratory stress syndrome self-reported at least one of the three symptoms. "We need to pay more attention to the psychiatric vulnerability of ICU patients in recovery who are women, younger and unemployed prior to hospitalization, not just look at traditional measures of risk, such as greater illness severity and longer length of stay," Dale Needham, M.D., professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a statement. The study results will be published in the May issue of the journal Critical Care Medicine. Study announcement