Post–intensive care syndrome is a collection of symptoms that more than half of patients who survive a critical illness, and their family caregivers, experience after the illness. Those symptoms include weakness/ fatigue, sleep disturbances/insomnia, cognitive dysfunction, posttraumatic stress disorder, other mental health conditions, and a lack of effective coping strategies.

Clinical Relevance

To minimize the risk of a patient developing post–intensive care syndrome, intensive care unit nurses must adopt practices that reduce the severity of disability and optimize patient outcomes. They must also advocate for patients who need additional expert care.


To describe interventions that critical care nurses can implement to minimize a patient’s risk for post–intensive care syndrome.

Content Covered

This article describes patients who have a high risk of developing post–intensive care syndrome and interventions that are within nurses’ purview.

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