Intensive Care and Beyond: Improving the Transitional Experiences for Critically Ill Patients and their Families
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Critical illness or injury often occurs suddenly, without warning, and requires one to one care from specially trained nurses. In 2002, there were approximately 137,000 patients admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in 171 Australian hospitals. About 90% of patients will live through their ICU experience, with more than 75% surviving to hospital discharge. Conservative estimates suggest an ICU bed costs more than $3,000 per day, one reason that intensive care has also been termed ‘expensive care’. However, because ICU beds only comprise about 2.5% of all hospital beds, a lack of space for the critically ill is an everyday concern for many ICU managers. Thus, there is a need to ensure that once these specialist services are no longer required, timely transfer to the ward occurs. The focus of my research has been on the transitions ICU patients and their families face when they are discharged from ICU and on the provision of nursing services to ensure continuity of care during this time.
Research Centre for Clinical Practice Innovation
© 2005 Griffith University