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Critical Illness Recovery Center at UPMC Mercy

At UPMC Mercy, we know that leaving the intensive care unit (ICU) after a serious illness or injury can be both a hopeful, yet challenging, time for patients and their families. You may find yourself struggling with depression and anxiety, thinking and memory issues, or impaired strength and endurance. It may be difficult to resume a normal routine, return to work, complete household duties, or engage in social activities. Family members, loved ones, and other caretakers may also have a difficult time coping with your illness and recovery.

These physical, mental, and emotional challenges can persist for months or years after discharge and are known as post-intensive care syndrome (PICS). To help address this problem — symptoms of which can affect up to half of all ICU patients — UPMC Mercy created UPMC’s first Critical Illness Recovery Center, with the goal of supporting you and your family on your road to recovery.

About the Center

The Critical Illness Recovery Center (CIRC) is a follow-up clinic that is specially designed to serve patients who have spent a prolonged time in the ICU receiving treatment for life-threatening conditions such as respiratory failure requiring a breathing machine, serious infections such as sepsis, or a brain dysfunction such as delirium. We work with you and your family to:

  • Determine if you are experiencing PICS symptoms and to set realistic goals for recovery
  • Refer you to the appropriate specialists and therapists to help maximize your recovery
  • Perform a thorough medication review to help you better understand your medications and how to take them
  • Prevent future problems related to your illness from occurring
  • Help you recover faster and more fully
  • Ensure that the future medical care you receive is consistent with your goals, values, and preferences

Your Care Team

Our multidisciplinary care team will meet with you within two to four weeks after discharge to evaluate your physical, emotional, and mental health concerns. They include:

  • Critical care doctor
  • Nurse practitioner/clinician
  • Pharmacist
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Speech and language pathologists
  • Dietitian

Our specialized team will work closely with you and your family doctor to support and enhance your recovery. We also bring in case management and social services to provide additional support when needed. Working together, we will help you and your family talk about your ICU experience, discuss limitations, set realistic expectations, and make decisions based on your needs, values, and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to come to the Critical Illness Recovery Center clinic?

If you have received at least four days of intensive care for respiratory failure, sepsis, or delirium, your records will be screened to determine if you would benefit from the Critical Illness Recovery Center’s services. If so, an appointment will be made with our clinic. If you feel that you are suffering from PICS and have not been contacted for an appointment, you can call the clinic at 412-232-5992 to discuss your symptoms.

What if I get discharged to a skilled nursing facility, long-term acute care hospital (LTACH), or inpatient rehabilitation (IPR)?

If you are discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF), we will make arrangements with the facility to transport you to your appointment within 2-4 weeks after your hospital discharge. If you are discharged to a long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) or inpatient rehabilitation (IPR), we will make an appointment for you within 2-4 weeks following your discharge from the LTACH or IPR.

What will happen during my first visit?

During your initial two-hour visit, you will be seen by each member of our care team. They will review every aspect of your ICU recovery and conduct tests of strength, endurance, balance, thinking and memory, and emotional and social well-being. Your team will then work together to refer you to specialists for treatment specific to your needs.

How often will I be seen?

After your initial visit, follow-up appointments will be scheduled at three months, six months, and one year to ensure you continue moving toward a more stable and full quality of life.

Where do I go for these appointments?

Your visit will take place at the Critical Illness Recovery Center, located in Suite 236 of the UPMC Mercy Health Center (across the street from the main entrance to UPMC Mercy).

How do I make an appointment?

The Center will contact you to schedule your first visit within two to four weeks after your discharge from UPMC Mercy. If you have not heard from our team, you can call 412-232-5992 to set up an appointment.

Contact Us

For more information about the Critical Illness Recovery Center, call 412-232-5992 or email UPMCMercyCIRC@upmc.edu.