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Crit Care. 2010;14(1):121. doi: 10.1186/cc8863. Epub 2010 Feb 16.

The puzzle of long-term morbidity after critical illness.


Data continue to emerge demonstrating the poor quality of life of ICU survivors in the months and years following critical illness. In this issue of Critical Care, Cuthbertson and colleagues present new data on quality of life from a cohort of ICU survivors who were followed for 5 years. They found that survivors had poor physical quality of life and low quality adjusted life-years in comparison to age-adjusted norms, describing the long-term impact of critical illness as similar to a co-morbidity. Studies are now needed that seek to identify potentially modifiable factors both during and following an ICU admission to allow for eventual improvement in long-term morbidity. Such studies will likely need to incorporate extensive planning for data collection, as well as coordinated linkage with other available datasets that include substantial amounts of patient information from outside of the ICU.

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