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All individuals who are critically ill are at risk of developing additional medical problems or complications. Infection, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blood clots and bleeding are examples of some of the more common complications. Although we work very hard to try to reduce each patient's chance of developing additional health problems, complications are a frequent part of a patient's critical care journey. The patient's state of health prior to admission, and the severity of the patient's admission diagnosis are among the most important factors. If a patient has a serious heart, blood pressure or breathing problem, he or she may be unable to get enough oxygen and nutrients to the cells of the body. This can lead to failure of other body systems, and puts the patient at additional risk for many types of complications, including infection.
All of the treatments, procedures and medications that a patient receives carry some risk. These risks can range from extremely low to very high, and will vary for each treatment or procedure. As well, the same procedure will carry a different risk for different patients. These risks are influenced by a patient's age, gender, underlying health status and severity of disease. A decision to not intervene for a specific problem is another treatment option, and it will carry a different risk for each patient.
Health care research has helped us to understand some of the common complications of critical illness, as well as the treatments that are most likely to prevent these complications from occurring. We initiate a number of routine practices and treatments to reduce the chance of complications (provided that the treatment is considered safe for that particular patient). Although we try very hard to prevent complications from occurring, patients can have complications despite our best efforts and prevention strategies.
The physicians and health care providers in CCTC carefully consider the potential benefits and risks associated with each treatment option, for each individual patient. They will openly discuss these plans with patients and substitute decision maker(s). If you have any questions, or would like to speak to the physician about any of the treatment plans, please do not hesitate to ask. The team in CCTC is committed to maintaining an environment that is safe for patients, families and staff, minimizes complications and promotes the best quality of patient care. To learn more about patient care and our commitment to Quality and Safety, click on the following links below: