​Myths about critical care

​When children are admitted to a Paediatric Critical Care unit in Pakistan, they may believe in certain myths ​or misconceptions about their child's condition, treatment, or the healthcare system. It is essential for healthcare providers to address these myths and provide families and caregivers accurate information.

Some common myths that parents may have include:

Only seve​re illnesses require admission to the Pediatric Critical Care unit.

Reality: Critical care units admit a wide range of cases, not only the most severe. Children with complex medical needs with organ supportive treatment or t​hose requiring close monitoring may be admitted for various medical reasons.

The ICU is a pla​​ce where patients rarely recover or survive especially when on ventilator.

Reality: While the ICU cares for seriously ill children, many do recover and leave the unit in improved health. ICU teams work tirelessly to provide the best possible efficient and effective care and support to these critically ill children. Especially if the child is kept on mechanical ventilator, parents think that child will not survive or the child had died, which is not true. Usually the children are kept sedated over ventilator so that they would not fight with the machine while breathing and most of the children get out of ventilatory support after few days when their illness get better and then discharged from PICU and then hospital thereafter.  

My child will rec​​​eive better care, if I constantly check on them and offer my own medical advice.

Reality: While parental presence and involvement are crucial during their stay in PICU, it's essential to trust the medical team's expertise and follow their recommendations as they know the best for their child and will be there to provide guidance to the parents and guardians of the children admitted to PICU and keep them updated and aware about their child illness and management plan throughout.

All medications ​and treatments must be administered immediately for a quick recovery.

Reality: Some treatments require careful consideration, and the medical team will prioritize the most effective and safe interventions for the child's specific condition for which the children are admitted to PICU.

​The more tests and procedures, the better.

Reality: Excessive tests and procedures can sometimes be counterproductive and increase stress for the child. The medical team will order tests and procedures based on clinical need basis.

It's not necessary to follow up with regular paediatric care after leaving the ICU.

Reality: Follow-up care is crucial to monitor the child's recovery, manage any lingering issues, and ensure the child's long-term well-being. Therefore long term follow-up with pediatric critical care physician is really important.

Children in​ the ICU should not be moved or touched to avoid harming them.

Reality: Proper care includes turning, positioning, and providing necessary physical therapy to prevent complications such as bedsores and muscle weakness. Child can be touched and parents can be involved in their child care along with the nurses, which is one necessary part of family centered care.

The cost of ICU care is not negotiable, and there are no financial assistance options.

Reality: Families can often discuss financial matters with the hospital's billing department, explore insurance options, and inquire about available financial assistance programs also in AKUH welfare funds are available and parents can submit an application for the welfare support as well.

Asking questions or seeking a second opinion will offend the medical team.

Reality: Healthcare providers generally appreciate involved parents who ask questions and seek clarification. It's important for parents to be informed about their child's care.

Can I stay with my child in ICU?

Reality: Families can stay with their child in the PICU and are usually encouraged to take part in the care of their child, which is a part of family-centered care.

Addressing these myths with empathy and clear communication is essential to help parents better understand their child's condition and the care being provided in the Pediatric Critical Care unit. Healthcare providers can play a crucial role in dispelling misconceptions and building trust with parents during this challenging time​.