Trips to the intensive care unit (ICU) are notoriously nerve-wracking. A single visit to this fast-paced environment could result in a myriad of interventions, few of which you will likely understand.
Add the heightened risk of infection and a touch of personal anxiety, and it’s easy to see why this setting is so miserable for so many patients. You’re not doomed to suffer, however. A few simple steps could transform your ICU trip from awful to manageable.
During your time in the ICU, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals may use terms or phrases you find confusing. When in doubt, ask for more information. If you still struggle to understand, ask health care workers to speak slowly and use simple terminology.
You have the right to be fully informed about all treatments. This begins with establishing a detailed understanding of your current circumstances and expected treatment protocol. Beyond inquiring about medical information, feel free to ask about measures that might make you feel more comfortable during your stay.
Ask an Advocate to Join You
If possible, plan in advance for a spouse or other family member to act as your advocate in the event of a future ICU visit. This person can make your wishes known when you struggle to do so yourself. This could make all the difference in an environment in which, unfortunately, patients’ wishes aren’t always clarified or respected. Be aware, however, that your advocate will occasionally need to take time to rest and recharge.
Whether negligence caused you to suffer in the ICU or in another medical setting, you can benefit from strong legal representation. Contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC to learn more about our medical malpractice services — and to get started with a case consultation.