Intensive care: Patients' experiences

Information for planned admissions

Some people are admitted to intensive care units after having major surgery because they need close monitoring and one-to-one nursing (see 'Reasons for admission' planned admissions'). Here people talk about the information they received or looked for about their diagnosis and treatments.

Many people told us how doctors diagnosed their illness and discussed it with them.

Many people were given lots of information before they had surgery and most were happy with it, and the opportunity to ask questions or call a telephone number if they needed more information. Some also had the opportunity to visit the ICU before surgery (see 'Reasons for admission: planned admissions').

Although most people were happy with the information they'd got from doctors, some also looked for more on the internet. A few were concerned about having a catheter and said they'd have liked to know more about this. One man wondered whether counselling before major surgery would help those who were particularly worried about having an operation.

One woman had spina bifida and had been disabled since birth. She felt she was told very little before surgery to remove her kidney.

She also felt that doctors could learn much more about treating people with disabilities.

Some people had been given information about recovery before they were discharged from hospital, particularly on diet, exercise and drug management. 

Last reviewed May 2015.

Last updated November 2012.

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