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Intensive care unit syndrome: a dangerous misnomer

Identifier

020098

Type of Spiritual Experience

Hallucination

Number of hallucinations: 1

Background

This is clearly not an 'action', but it shows how sensory overload can result in hallucinations etc

A description of the experience

Arch Intern Med. 2000 Apr 10;160(7):906-9.

Intensive care unit syndrome: a dangerous misnomer.

McGuire BE1, Basten CJ, Ryan CJ, Gallagher J.

  • 1Department of Medical Psychology, Westmead Hospital and the University of Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

The terms intensive care unit (ICU) syndrome and ICU psychosis have been used interchangeably to describe a cluster of psychiatric symptoms that are unique to the ICU environment.

It is often postulated that aspects of the ICU, such as sleep deprivation and sensory overload or monotony, are causes of the syndrome. This article reviews the empirical support for these propositions. We conclude that ICU syndrome does not differ from delirium and that ICU syndrome is caused exclusively by organic stressors on the central nervous system. We argue further that the term ICU syndrome is dangerous because it impedes standardized communication and research and may reduce the vigilance necessary to promptly investigate and reverse the medical cause of the delirium. Directions for future research are suggested.

PMID:  10761954

The source of the experience

PubMed

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References