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Article: “I had these strange dreams.”

What kinds of memories or dreams do people have? It is very common for patients to have strange memories, dreams or hallucinations. They can seem very real...so real, that no matter how strange they are, patients are often unsure whether they happened or not. They can often be remembered in detail for some time afterwards. The dreams that people have can sometimes be very frightening, but sometimes pleasant or funny. Here are some examples of other people's dreams.We hope they helps...

Web Link: Blog from an ICU survivor (Louise)

This link will take you to Louise's blog site, which she regularly updates. Louise was admitted to the Intensive Care unit of Derriford Hospital, Plymouth in November, 2018. She spent 13 days in the Intensive Care Unit, due to a perforated oesophagus (gullet) and another 71 days in hospital before being discharged home to her family. Louise writes in a very authentic and compassionate way about her experiences of having ICU delirium (strange or distressing dreams or hallucinations) and...

Document: Confusion (delirium) and Intensive Care

This is a short, easy to read booklet written by ICUSteps.It explains what delirium is, why patients in Intensive Care are often confused, what it feels like for the patient and the things family members can do to help.Some patients continue to be a little confused after they are transferred to the general wards, although this is usually temporary.

Article: Confusion, paranoia or behaving out of character

Is it common to have been confused, paranoid or to have behaved out of character? Yes, it is very common.Just as these things are very common in Intensive Care, patients often experience these symptoms in the first few days following transfer to the ward. You may have felt very confused (not quite knowing where you are or why), you may have felt that others were out to harm you (paranoia) or may have behaved completely out of character by perhaps being a little unreasonable,...

Web Link: Delirium: a short film

This link will take you to a short YouTube video on COVID Intensive Care patients' experiences of ICU deliium. It's from colleagues in North America and it's around 10 minutes long. It includes short excerpts from patients and healthcare professionals.** Please be aware that this video contains images of people in ICU, and of their experiences of delirium. Some people may find this distressing**.

Web Link: Hallucinations in the ICU:a short video from former patients

This is a link to a short video in which 2 former patients talk about their strange memories of the ICU.  Borrowed, with grateful thanks, from the INSPIRE (ICU) research team in NHS Glasgow & Greater Clyde.

Web Link: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after ICU: a guide for patients & families

This link will take you to the website of Psychology Tools, a resource that was developed by highly qualified psychologists in 2008. The developers have put together a guide on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that can be given to patients, and those close to them. Their guide helps explain symptoms of PTSD (e.g. frightening or unreal memories, "flashbacks" and changes in mood, etc), how patients and family members might be feeling, aspects of Intensive Care that can...

Article: Sedation (drugs to keep patients comfortable)

What is sedation? Sedatives are the drugs we give patients to keep them sleepy and comfortable whilst in Intensive Care.They are usually given into a line or drip, directly into the patient's bloodstream. Why are sedatives used in Intensive Care? When a patient is very ill, the body may struggle to cope with the severity of their illness or with some of the things we have to do in order to treat their illness. Being connected to a ventilator or breathing machine via a...

External Video: Strange Dreams and memories in ICU

This is a short video in which Professor Tim Walsh (a Consultant in Intensive Care) explains the reasons why many patients have strange dreams during and after their time in Intensive Care.