Health Watch — Surgery: Sleep in ICU
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This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about advances in surgery and post-surgical treatment. After major surgery or a serious trauma, patients are often cared for in the intensive care unit. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center say the intensive care may actually get in the way of healing.
Sleep is important to the healing process, but Dr. Randall Friese, a critical care expert at UT Southwestern, says patients in intensive care units don’t get the kind of deep, restorative sleep they need. Doctors monitored the sleep of ICU patients and found they had fragmented, abnormal sleep patterns. Now doctors will look for ways to make intensive care units more conducive to rest — perhaps by making alarms and monitors more quiet, dimming lights and adjusting medication.
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