There is protocol for outpatient care for hospital patients discharged after surgery, after fractures, after virtually all conditions which warrant hospitalization in the first place. But there is no protocol -none -for post-hospitalization care of patients who survive MODS (Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome) which affects 50% of people admitted to the ICU and kills more hospital patients than do heart attacks. Why is this?
Critical Care physicians (actually the whole team of health professionals) work only in the ICU (similar to Emergency Department personnel. They don't have separate offices and deal only with issues which are "critical" or "intensive" not ongoing medical problems. Once a person leaves the ICU, they are "turned over" to another physician who follows them long-term.
Critical Care and Emergency care are episodic both by nature and by discipline/training. Once the person is stabilized and on their way to healing, they move on to a non-critical phase of their recovery. The lack of on-going relationships is one of the downsides of this practice, but other physicians are trained and focused better on that than are the intensive care specialists.
Other physicians do not have so much as a clue for treating the multi-symptoms of persons who have survived mutlti-organ system failure. Critical Care is not about "really bad" heart attacks or lung infections. It is about critical failure of the whole body system. And just because a patient is stable does not mean they no longer need specific care for the aftermath of their organ system failures
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your
physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere.
If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.