Comprehensive care of ICU survivors: Development and implementation of an ICU recovery center

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To describe the design and initial implementation of an Intensive Care Unit Recovery Center (ICU-RC) in the United States.

Materials and methods:

A prospective, observational feasibility study was undertaken at an academic hospital between July 2012 and December 2015. Clinical criteria were used to develop the ICU-RC, identify patients at high risk for post intensive care syndrome (PICS), and offer them post-ICU care.


218/307 referred patients (71%) survived to hospital discharge; 62 (28% of survivors) were seen in clinic. Median time from discharge to ICU-RC visit was 29 days. At initial evaluation, 64% of patients had clinically meaningful cognitive impairment. Anxiety and depression were present in 37% and 27% of patients, respectively. One in three patients was unable to ambulate independently; median 6 min walk distance was 56% predicted. Of 47 previously working patients, 7 (15%) had returned to work. Case management and referral services were provided 142 times. The median number of interventions per patient was 4.


An ICU-RC identified a high prevalence of cognitive impairment, anxiety, depression, physical debility, lifestyle changes, and medication-related problems warranting intervention. Whether an ICU-RC can improve ICU recovery in the US should be investigated in a systematic way.

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