Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often thought of as a symptom of warfare, major catastrophes and assault. It’s rarely considered in patients who survive a critical illness and stay in the intensive care unit (ICU). However, in a recent Johns Hopkins study, researchers found that nearly one-quarter of ICU survivors suffer from PTSD. They also identified possible triggers for PTSD and indicated a potential preventive strategy: having patients keep ICU diaries.

Through a systematic literature review, the research team looked at 40 studies of 36 unique patient cohorts with a total of more than 3,000 patients who survived a critical illness and ICU stay. They found that the prevalence of PTSD in the studies ranged from 10 to 60%.

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