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Approved research

Trajectories for recovery after acute illness

Principal Investigator: Dr Ritesh Maharaj
Approved Research ID: 24234
Approval date: March 1st 2016

Lay summary

Geriatric conditions are common after critical illness. Many patients emerge from the ICU with post-ICU morbidity. What is uncertain is the proportion of patients with morbidity caused by critical illness as opposed to premorbid co-morbidity or specific diagnosis such has traumatic brain injury, stroke trauma, burns or heart failure. The ideal study design would be to follow a prospective cohort where some subjects happen to develop critical illness. measurements made before and after hospitalisation and the effects of critical illness can be compared with a contemporaneous control. Understanding the trajectory of recovery or deterioration from acute illness may improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the acutely ill and promote societal well being. To understand the pattern of recovery that occurs with acute infections we will compare people who have had no acute or chronic illness with people who have had an acute illness such as trauma, infection or heart attack and those that have cancer between their assessments. Previous models have conceptualised acute illness as a 'big hit' from which people recover over time. Current models suggest acute illness may evolve to slow burning or relapsing diseases. Understanding trajectories better would address this population to minimise decline. The cohort of subjects with an assessment of physical activity and cognitive function before and after acute illness.