Update 1990 pp 214-220 | Cite as

Patients’ Experiences of Mechanical Ventilation

  • H. Haljamäe
  • I. Bergbom-Engberg
  • B. Hallenberg
Part of the Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (UICM, volume 10)


Modern intensive care means maximum application of modern technology and invasive diagnostic procedures in a hospital setting requiring the greatest expenditure of nursing staff [1, 2]. The ICU environment is no doubt frightening and stress-evoking for the critically ill patient due to its hectic pace where physical needs are often paramount and psychological needs secondary, if noted at all [3]. This means that the ICU patient confronts a more intensive barrage of stressors than other categories of patients, and is less emotionally resilient and thus less able to adapt to these stressors [2]. The result may be that the patient initially experiences a psychological distress characterized by anxiety, depression, confusion, fear, or anger in response to the illness and hospitalization [4], while later cognitive, affective, and perceptual functions become disturbed. At that stage the patient experiences a phenomenon referred to as „ICU psychosis“ or „ICU syndrome“ [5, 8]. The etiology is probably multifactorial including both pathophysiological disturbances caused by the medical condition and various nursing care activities in the busy ICU environment [9]. Cerebral hypoxia as well as analgesic and sedative drugs may influence the ability of the critically ill patient to interpret adequately various types of stimuli [8, 10] in a nursing situation characterized by repeated disturbances upsetting the ability of the patient to relax and rest [9, 11, 12].


Respirator Therapy Cerebral Hypoxia Nursing Activity Heavy Sedation Respirator Treatment 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Haljamäe
  • I. Bergbom-Engberg
  • B. Hallenberg

There are no affiliations available

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