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Intensive care - how to help?

(3 Posts)
GeorgeAndTimmy Fri 26-Sep-08 21:50:30

A good friend of mine has her mum in ICU at the mo. It has been a very hard few weeks for them all, and while things are looking more positive, the stay in ICU is likely to be long.

Her mum is now conscious, but unable to move or speak. She has an awareness of what has happened and how ill she is. She is now becoming quite distressed. What can my friend do to ease this? Obvously they have all been talking, stroking etc, but what else?

I was thinking music, but her mum can't operate anythin herself. Photos to look at? Can't do massage as she has dressings and drains and lines everywhere.

Has anyone been in this situation and can advise? I don't wish to upset anyone by bringing back painful memories, but thanks in advance...

norksinmywaistband Fri 26-Sep-08 21:57:24

I worked in ICU for a long time and often just talking about normal things help, making sure she has her glasses hearing aid etc is very important.
If she would normally like looking at photos then yes, music is great but make sure it is what she likes and not a random radio station, as that can make the unable to change things worse.
If she normally reads a paper daily then reading to her can help.
My FIL was in ICU while I worked there and he says he can remeber very little although was ther for a long time.
IMO just being ther eregularly is important.

The distressed thing in itself is positive as it shows she is not passive and is fighting IYKWIM

GeorgeAndTimmy Fri 26-Sep-08 22:18:50

Thank you norks. They are doing the glasses thing, and making sure there is someone with her for as long as visiting will allow. They are chatting too, but wishing there was more they could do...

I agree that it is a positive thing that she is aware enough now to be upset iykwim, for the last 3 weeks she's not been conscious, so it is a big thing, but brings with it new challenges...

Hats off to you for working in such a pressured environment - I know my friend thinks ICU staff are bloody marvellous smile

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