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Trauma patients get own support group to aid recovery

PUBLISHED: 23:37 19 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 05 October 2010

INTENSIVE care patients at risk of getting depressed after leaving hospital are being offered counselling to help recover. Psychologists and therapists are offering those discharged from the Royal London a long-term lifeline’—the first of its kind—to stop them developing post traumatic stress disorder

By Gemma Collins

INTENSIVE care patients at risk of getting depressed after leaving hospital in East London are being offered counselling to help recover.

Psychologists and therapists are offering patients discharged from the Royal London in Whitechapel a long-term lifeline’—the first of its kind—to stop them developing post traumatic stress disorder.

The new intensive care’ support group, which can be contacted by email, gives patients the chance to share their experiences with each other.

Patients met for the first time last month and have a second meeting planned for June.

SURVIVAL CHANCE

One of the recovering patients at the meeting was Neil Holland, who was in intensive care for three weeks after a car smash.

The 46-year-old was given a one per cent chance of survival after serious chest and leg injuries.

“Mentally, I felt very low and depressed,” he recalls. “I remember being very weak and feeling useless and unable to control my body.

“This support group was difficult but rewarding. Meeting others who have suffered critical injuries and chatting about the hurdles is important and makes a huge difference.”

EMOTIONAL CHARGE

This first meeting was emotionally charged with patients reliving what brought them to intensive care, according to Sister Sarah Herbert.

“They often feel isolated and uncared for,” she said. “Some patients and their families struggle with the long-term physical and psychological impact of critical illness.”

The hospital, which has the largest trauma unit in London, admitted 1,000 patients to its intensive care unit last year.


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