“Perhaps one lesson to draw from the pandemic, with help from books like this one, is that the ICU experience can be changed for the better” (The Washington Post) for both patients and their families. You will learn how in this timely, urgent, and compassionate work by a world-renowned critical care doctor.
Over the next ten years, 40 to 60 million people in this country will be admitted to the ICU. Most of these hospitalizations will be sudden, unexpected, and harrowing experiences that can alter patients and their families physically and emotionally, with effects that endure for years.
In this rich blend of science, medical history, profoundly humane patient stories, and personal reflection, Dr. Wes Ely describes his mission to prevent patients from being inadvertently harmed by the technology that is keeping them alive. You will experience the world of critical care through the eyes of a physician who drastically changed his clinical practice to offer person-centered health care, and through cutting-edge research convinced others to do the same.
For decades, ICU survivors left the hospital with disabling symptoms including newly acquired dementia, depression, PTSD, and nerve damage, all now recognized as Post Intensive Care Syndrome, or PICS. Dr. Ely’s groundbreaking investigations advanced the understanding of PICS and introduced crucial changes that reshaped intensive care: minimizing sedation, maximizing mobility, listening to the family, and providing supportive aftercare. Dr. Ely shows that there are ways to bring humanity into the ICU and that “technology plus touch” is the future of health care and is a proven path toward returning ICU patients to the lives they had before their hospital stay. An essential resource for anyone who will be affected by illness—which is all of us—Ely’s “personal, passionate return to the ethical heart of the Hippocratic oath…[offers] meaningful, thought-provoking insight into the world of critical care” (Kirkus Reviews).