One in five ICU patients develops PTSD

September 18, 2008 2:43:56 PM PDT
Thanks to improved medical technology, millions of Americans treated in intensive care units are surviving. But many of these patients may leave the ICU with more than physical scars. A new study form the University of Washington finds one in five ICU patients experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

The pain and often frightening medical procedures can trigger nightmares and flashbacks that can last for months.

Researchers recommend patients who experience recurring painful flashbacks see a psychologist as soon as possible.

PTSD is easiest to treat in the early stages before memories have too long to solidify.