Can a PICU stay leave a lasting impact on the emotional well-being of a child? Decades of research says it can. Researchers estimate approximately 25% of PICU patients will experience lasting psychological consequences, such as anxiety, reoccurring memories, and other symptoms of PTSD. A meta-analysis of 28 studies conducted by Janet E. Rennick, Ph.D. revealed 32% of children experience disturbing memories from their PICU admission up to 3 months post discharge and 25% experienced hallucinations 3 months afterwards. A year after discharge, 21% of children continued to experience symptoms of PSTD. Unfortunately Dr. Rennick's research stalled due to the lack of appropriate PTSD screening tool for PICU patients. This lead to the creation of the Children's Critical Illness Impact Scale (CCIIS), a developmentally appropriate PSTD screener. Through the use of the CCIIS, Dr. Rennick hopes to better characterize the emotional impact of a PICU stay as well as better identify those children who may need additional psychological support.
Do you think a PICU stay can have lasting impacts on your patients?