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ICU nightmares Lock Rss

When my twins were born one spent over a week in ICU. She screams in her sleep regularly. My SIL had her twins at 33wks and said hers had "ICU nightmares". Has anybody else experienced or heard of this.

Robynne-69 DH-61 DS1-94 DD1-96 DS2-99 DS3&DD2-04

I have never heard of this term, there is such thing as birth trauma though!

Amanda and Oscar (22 Feb 05)

Hi Duck5lings,
Oh, twins! I bet they keep you busy! I'm an ICU clinical nurse specialist ( adults, not children). There is definition for adults who suffer pyschological trauma from ICU. This is called ICU psychosis.

"ICU psychosis is a disorder in which patients are in an intensive care unit (ICU) or a similar setting experience anxiety, hear voices, see things that are not there, and become paranoid, severely disoriented in time and place, very agitated, or even violent, etc. In short, patients become temporarily psychotic." Common causes are sleep deprivation,sensory deprivation, ( could be your baby was used to your heart beat/ voice/movements etc in utero, then a new environment out of utero could have been a sensory deprivation), or sensory overload( new noises, monitors alarming etc), disruption of normal rhythm of day/ night. Studies have recognised that patients who develop this psychosis do suffer nightmares, anxiety and usettleness etc..

I'm not sure about bubs with their development stages of their surroundings of an ICU. you could always ring the department your children were cared for. The specialist nurse should be able to discuss these issues with you. If the nurses are unable to help, ask to speak the 'peadiatric intensivist or peadeatric registrar'. You could also search on the net ' neonatal intensive care psychosis'.

The information I have outlined is based on a adult. I do not work in paedeatrics, but this "ICU psychosis' is common in adults( about 3 out of 5 patients).
Hope this helps and good luck!!

karlie. 15month old two foot terror!!

My oldest daughter spent the first 3 nights in the neo natal unit and had no probs with sleeping. When se was about 2-3 years old used to have night terrors. I know this sounds silly but I bought her a dream catcher and have had very few problems since.

Kirsten, NZ, Ella 02.10.1997, Gabrielle 20.06.2005

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