Progress and Getting Better
Who will decide if I am getting better and what happens to me next?
You may be able to tell that you are getting better. You will feel stronger and notice that you need less help and support. We will review you many times each day and we will notice this as well. We will make a rehabilitation plan, taking into account your physical and psychological needs. As you continue to improve, you will most likely move to a normal hospital ward in order to continue your recovery, before being discharged home.
Leaving Intensive care and being transferred to the ward is often a difficult time, as you are likely to still be unwell and feel vulnerable. We will only discharge you from Intensive care when we feel certain that you are ready for this change. Most intensive care units also continue to follow-up patients following this move in order to help patients adjust to this change.
How long will it take for me to get better?
Most patients stay in Intensive care for between 1-2 days and 2 weeks, but some can require many months of treatment. We do know that it takes time to recover from critical illness. Whilst being discharged from critical care and discharged home are important steps in the recovery journey, your recovery does not stop there. Many patients continue to recover for many months after discharge from hospital and you may need some extra help when you go home. You will be assessed for this before you go home.
What will happen to me if I don't get better?
Unfortunately, some patients do not get better. The Intensive care team will always try and be honest with you and your family and discuss whether recovery is possible.
If recovery is not possible then our aim is to avoid any treatments that are either harmful or have no benefit. This may involve stopping certain treatments such as mechanical ventilation or medicines to support blood pressure. Importantly, this does not involve stopping care and those medicines that are intended to provide pain relief and improve comfort will continue to be given. We will also be able to try to help organise visits from a member of your faith community if wanted.
If I was to die in Intensive care can I donate my organs?
If, despite the best efforts of the Intensive care team, a patient is approaching the end of their life then any prior wishes regarding organ donation will be considered.
Organ donation is not always possible but the Intensive care team will always try to help patients achieve their wishes in regards to donation after their death. Donation only occurs after death and will not affect the care of the patient during their life.
Please click on video below for more information
Step down to the ward