alexa Preventing the ITU syndrome or how not to torture an ITU patient! Part 2.
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Civil & Legal Sciences

Author(s): Dyer I

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Abstract Admission to an intensive therapy unit (ITU) has been described as a 'necessary evil' (Barrie-Shevlin 1987), and some of the 'tortures' described in Part I of this article (Dyer 1995) may be an inevitable result of ITU care. This does not mean that the development of the ITU syndrome should be regarded as inevitable. Many potential causes of the syndrome can be avoided or at least ameliorated. Some suggested means of preventing the syndrome include designing ITUs with windows (Keep et al 1980), use of noise reducing materials when building ITUs (Hopkinson 1994, Topf & Davis 1993), using noise level as a criterion when purchasing equipment (Dracup 1988) or using remote telemetry for monitoring (Fisher & Moxham 1984). These would undoubtedly be beneficial but they are not practical propositions for nurses who wish to improve psychological care in the short term. For this reason, this article, concentrates mainly on immediately applicable, relatively cost-free interventions. Methods of preventing the syndrome should begin, whenever possible, before admission and should continue throughout the patients' stay. The main emphasis should be placed on prevention, but early detection and treatment of problems should also be given high priority. If a patient exhibits symptoms of psychological disturbance physical causes should be considered, but at the same time the ITU syndrome should be suspected and attempts made to alleviate possible causes of this. Nurses play a vital role in any attempts to alleviate problems and in 'humanising' the technical ITU environment (Ashworth 1987, Mackellaig 1990).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This article was published in Intensive Crit Care Nurs and referenced in Journal of Civil & Legal Sciences

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