When patients are discharged from the ICU, their life-threatening illness may have been treated, but a large number of patients still suffer from significant impairments in their ability to function in activities of daily living. The Critical Illness Recover Center at UPMC Mercy opened its doors on June 14, 2018 becoming the first center within the UPMC system to help former ICU patients. Funded by a Beckwith Institute grant and a Society of Critical Care Medicine THRIVE Initiative grant, Brad Butcher, MD, founded the center to ensure patients discharged from the ICU find the long-term medical support they need.
“Post-ICU clinics are just beginning to develop in the United States, but there is much to be learned about how to best care for this patient population and help them thrive during their recovery,” said Brad Butcher, MD, Assistant Professor and an intensivist in the Department of Critical Care Medicine. “Many survivors of critical illness have persistent physical and cognitive disabilities that persist for years after their hospitalization; a third develop depression, anxiety, or PTSD; and 50 percent do not return to work in the first year after discharge. This new Center will hopefully help reduce those numbers and proactively address the aftermath of someone’s ICU stay.”
The Center is staffed by Dr. Butcher as well as a nurse practitioner/clinician specializing in palliative care, a pharmacist, a respiratory therapist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a speech and language pathologist. In their initial two-hour visit to the Center, patients will be seen by each member of the care team, who then work together to refer the patient to specialist care for their specific needs.
The goal of the Center is not to supplant a patient’s primary care physician but, instead, to guide the patient towards care tailored to their specific recovery needs. After the initial visit to the Center, follow-ups will be scheduled at three months, six months, and one year to ensure the patient continues to move toward a more stable and full quality of life.
The Critical Illness Recovery Center is located on the second floor of UPMC Mercy Health Center in Suite 236. For further information, contact the Center at UPMCMercyCIRC@upmc.edu.