All of us have heard about people with Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD (pervasive developmental disorder), ADHD (with or without Hyperactivity Attention Deficit Disorder) and autism. But only a few know their characteristics and, much less, how they are going to react to being patient as a ICU patient.

Since I work on this blog I’ve done myself many questions because my two daughters are affected by ADHD- and I hope if they would have to be patient in a ICU, they could meet someone who would understand them, that is a very broad expression. After read this article (Spanish version) I have it more present, although these are good news, the risk is still there, so I decided to do my bit towards understanding.

I share this link (Spanish version) so that you could learn their symptoms and I envisage situations in which you could find possible solutions. One of my daughters has difficulties to understand things/explanations, more in stressful situations. I imagine her awakening in the ICU, with a tuve on the throat and not knowing what has happened… Explain things slowly, pointing out what you need in order to site her and repeat the things often she needs until you ensure that she has understood everything. It´s very important to look her face to face always.

The other is also hyperactive. She moves her feet constantly, she makes noises with his mouth or with a pad, the question is to be doing something. When she goes to bed and she lies down, she moves thousand turns and destroys the bed… The blanket around the head, blanket at the foot, pillow over head… What would happend if you need her to be immobilized? Anxiety, nerves, crying, tantrum… Would be sedate the only option? As a mother and not an expert, but almost, I think that there would be alternatives to avoid it.

These alternatives should be included in a guide or protocol, isn’t there any protocol for patients with special needs admitted to Intensive Care? I have asked and I have searched but I have not found anything concrete.

In short, does the understanding that I need depend on voluntary and personal knowledge of each professional? I refuse to think that this is so, but if it is, and when in doubt, honey, all with much affection.


And don’t forget the communication with the family, who may suffer as it has not ever written.


Ali Matz