Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is usually associated with people who have been involved in warfare or traumatic incidents such as car accidents etc. However, research by scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle has found that people who have passed through intensive care units (ICUs) may also suffer from PTSD. Using data from 15 previously published studies the authors evaluated PTSD symptoms in 1,745 former ICU patients. The studies took place in the UK, US and a number of European countries. It found that 19% of patients developed PTSD after ICU treatment. Those who had had mental-health problems before going into an ICU were more likely to develop PTSD as were those people who had been sedated with benzodiazepines and those who had had frightening experiences in the ICU.
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