Using questionnaires, they were asked how they were doing one-year post ICU. Worldwide, this is the first scientific research regarding long-term problems among COVID-19 ICU survivors. Patients in this study were admitted to the ICU during the first COVID-19 surge between March and July 2020.
Majority of patients experience health problems one-year post ICU
These are primarily physical problems, whereby half of the patients experience feelings of fatigue. Other physical problems are e.g. a reduced condition, pain, muscle weakness and shortness of breath. Also, mental symptoms are common; one in five COVID-19 ICU survivors experience feelings of anxiety or post-traumatic stress. Furthermore, one in six have cognitive problems such as memory or attention problems.
These various problems negatively affect former ICU patients’ daily live. Over half of them indicate that they have work-related problems because of the health problems: they reduced their working hours; they are still on sick leave or have even given up their job.
Principal investigator Marieke Zegers of Radboud university medical center: “This study shows what an incredible impact an ICU admission has on the lives of former COVID-19 patients. Even after one year, half of them is tired or experience lack of the energy to fully resume their work”.
MONITOR-IC: large-scale study on the health status of ICU survivors
The results are part of the MONITOR-IC study[ZM1] , a large-scale multicenter study conducted at the Bernhoven (Uden), Jeroen Bosch Hospital (Den Bosch), Amphia (Breda), Rijnstate (Arnhem), Maasziekenhuis (Boxmeer), Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital and the Radboudumc (both Nijmegen) hospitals. In the COVID-19 sub study, also patients of the Maastricht UMC+, Elkerliek (Helmond), Zuyderland (Heerlen) amd UMC Utrecht hospitals were included.