Friday, June 10, 2016

Many ICU patients trade critical illness for new illness, ICU-acquired weakness

Public Release: 8-Apr-2016
Many ICU patients trade critical illness for new illness, ICU-acquired weakness
Sustained muscle atrophy in the long term is result of impaired regrowth, associated with decrease in satellite cells
St. Michael's Hospital

A growing number of patients are being discharged from intensive care units, cured of the critical illness that put them there but facing a new and potentially debilitating condition -- ICU-acquired weakness.

Intensive care patients are known to lose muscle mass and function for many reasons, ranging from prolonged immobilization, to the effects of ICU treatments such as mechanical ventilation to the critical illness itself.


A new study published today in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that some patients who continue to suffer from weakness six months after they were discharged from the ICU, demonstrate persistent muscle wasting, even when the biologic functions that commonly cause muscles to atrophy have returned to normal such as inflammation or the breakdown of proteins in muscle tissue.

Furthermore, there is no guarantee that reconstitution of muscle size, normalizes strength; patients who managed to regrow muscle remained weak. In some cases, this muscle weakness causes profound disability and reduced quality of life, and can last a lifetime, said the study's lead author, Dr. Jane Batt, a respirologist at St. Michael's Hospital.

"We know ICU patients lose muscle mass and function. Critical illness literally causes their muscles to dissolve," said Dr. Batt, a scientist in the hospital's Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science. "Some people grow it back and some don't. Some people can regrow the muscle, but it doesn't function properly."



rjs said...

been there, done that...after a month in the ICU, it took me two more months in rehab to rebuild enough muscles to walk with a walker, then another 6 months on my own before i could climb a ladder and work normally..

Patricia said...

rjs, I hope you have fully recovered.

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