ICU Stays Increase Suicide Risk For Those With Mental Health Disorders: Study

Following treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU), new research suggests individuals may be more likely to hurt themselves or commit suicide.

In findings published last week in the medical journal The BMJ, Canadian researchers indicate patients released from ICU stays had a 22% higher risk of suicide and a 15% higher risk of self-harm when compared to patients released from non ICU stays.

Researchers from the Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa reviewed health records from 2009 through 2017, involving 423,000 ICU patients discharged in the province of Ontario, and compared them to roughly 3 million patients who were hospitalized in non ICU settings. Admissions considered in the study had a median seven day stay at a hospital.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

Of the ICU patients who survived and were released, 750 committed suicide compared to 2,427 suicides among other hospital survivors. When factoring the population of the study, researchers indicated ICU patients had a 0.2% rate of committing suicide after release compared, to a 0.1% rate of non ICU patients. Rates of self-harm were 1.3% among ICU survivors and 0.8% among others.

Researchers determined patients with the highest risk of suicide or self-harm following release fell into three categories; including 18 to 34 year old adults, patients with previous diagnosis of depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or those who received invasive procedures in the ICU, such as kidney failure patients who underwent mechanical ventilation or blood filtration.

Additional factors which increased patient suicide and harm following ICU treatment were those discharged home independently, and not to a healthcare recovery facility; as well as those in lower income neighborhoods.

“These patients are often in hospital for weeks or months and need intense rehabilitation to get their strength back,” the researchers concluded. “Once they return home, they may not be able to work full time or at all. We know all of this impacts their mental health.”

While previous studies have found growing evidence of ICU patients developing psychiatric morbidity, the study offers a relatively small sample of data indicating the risk of suicide and self-harm was associated with younger age, previous mental health diagnoses, and receipt of life support interventions.

Researchers indicate ICU admission is an apparent risk factor of post-release suicide, suggesting mental health monitoring of at-risk patients is needed to identify and offer early suicide and self-harm interventions.


"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Bard 3DMax Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Set for Trial To Begin in April 2024
Bard 3DMax Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Set for Trial To Begin in April 2024 (Posted today)

With thousands of Bard hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the federal court system, a fourth bellwether trial will be held in the spring, involving allegations that defects with Bard 3DMax caused painful and permanent injuries.

Ozempic Gastroparesis Lawsuit Filed Over Failure To Warn About Permanent Stomach Problems
Ozempic Gastroparesis Lawsuit Filed Over Failure To Warn About Permanent Stomach Problems (Posted 2 days ago)

A South Dakota man has filed one of the first gastroparesis lawsuits against Ozempic manufacturers, alleging that users have not been adequately warned about the risk of severe vomiting and long-term stomach side effects.