The Guardian: Screen survivors of Covid-19 for PTSD, say mental health experts

Bron: The Guardian

Datum: 28-06-2020

Auteur: Denis Campbell

Tens of thousands of Covid-19 survivors should be screened for post-traumatic stress disorder because of their experiences in fighting for their lives, mental health experts have urged.

Leading psychiatrists and psychologists want NHS bosses to ensure that all those who were admitted to hospital when they became seriously ill with the disease are assessed and checked regularly.

Survivors showing signs of PTSD would undergo treatment to prevent nightmares and flashbacks that could blight the rest of their lives.

Dr Michael Bloomfield, an NHS psychiatrist, researcher at University College London and one of the experts calling for automatic screening of all survivors, said: “For many people hospitalised with Covid-19 it’s been a potentially traumatic experience. Being in intensive care is frightening. There was a particular risk to their own life, because they were very ill. And early in the pandemic we didn’t have treatments available for covid.

“The doctors and nurses treating people in hospital all had to wear protective equipment. People weren’t able to see their relatives. And patients had tubes in them and, if they were intubated, they were in an altered state of consciousness.

“So although they were having life-saving interventions, knowing how dangerous the situation was would have been extremely frightening for anybody. Therefore a huge toll of trauma from that would be expected.”

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