COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)

What is Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)?

PICS is a collection of health problems which remain after a critical illness. It can include new or worsening impairments in physical, cognitive or mental health issues arising after a stay in critical care.

Why does PICS happen?

PICS happens because of many different things that occur in critical care including, but not limited to:

  • 24-hour care that does not promote adequate natural sleep
  • Breathing machines
  • Medications for sedation and pain
  • Immobility
  • Noise
  • Fear
  • Physical restraint to keep a patient safe from removing lifesaving tubes and lines

What does PICS look like?

Physical Symptoms:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or a change in sleep patterns

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Memory loss
  • Inability to focus
  • Trouble organizing and problem solving

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Anxiety/Panic disorder
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may include nightmares and flashbacks

When can a patient experience or family member see the symptoms of PICS?

PICS symptoms usually occur after discharge, often weeks to months following a critical care stay, which makes it difficult to diagnose.

What should you do if you have the symptoms of PICS?

  • Reach out to your primary care provider and tell him/her about what you are experiencing.
  • Keep a diary of what you are feeling.
  • Look back at any education that you received while in the ICU or at discharge.

What is St. Cloud Hospital ICU doing to prevent PICS?

  • We assess patients daily, making sure to remove tubes and lines as quickly as we safely can.
  • Patients and families are given a diary which includes information about PICS and the equipment that is being used in the patient’s room. If you do not have a diary, please ask the ICU staff to get the information for you.
  • We educate our staff by sharing new PICS information as it becomes available.
Our Intensive Care (ICU) Locations

We have 2 locations offering this service. Enter your zip code to find the location nearest to you.

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