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    Intensive care is as dire as it sounds – more than one out of every 10 patients won’t survive their illness that requires a stay in an intensive care unit (ICU). And for those patients who do survive, extensive care and extended recovery time are often needed to recover before returning home.

    Understanding the care options after a hospital stay – and what the best choice is for that additional care – can be confusing and even overwhelming, especially in light of the stress and trauma recently experienced.

    “A stay in an ICU takes a physical and emotional toll on patients and family members alike,” said Dr. Sean Muldoon, Chief Medical Officer for the Kindred Hospital Division of Kindred Healthcare, LLC. “Only about half of ICU patients will be back to work and return to their normal life within a year. Most will need some additional care to recover to the fullest extent possible.”

    Resources for Understanding Care After the ICU

    Fortunately, resources are available to help patients and their families find the most appropriate care setting for their needs. As a patient nears discharge from the hospital, some of the tools available include:

    The Kindred Contact Center (1.866.KINDRED), a toll free service staffed 24/7 by Registered Nurses who provide free information about care settings, insurance and any other healthcare questions or concerns

    A hospital-provided list of potential settings well suited to the patient’s needs

    • A list of options, as suggested by the patient’s physician and care team


    What to Expect at a Transitional Care Hospital

    One of the potential options for additional care, especially for severely ill patients, is a transitional care hospital, also known as a long-term acute care (LTAC) hospital.

    Transitional care hospitals offer the same in-depth care – including intensive-level care – as traditional hospitals, but offer the extra time needed to help patients recover.

    In addition to that extra time, transitional care hospitals specialize in caring for patients who suffer from several medical conditions at once and require care that is more intense and complex than can be provided in other settings, such as a nursing home or rehabilitation facility.

    “Transitional care hospitals typically see the sickest of the sick – these critically ill patients account for roughly only 2% of all people who have a hospital stay,” said Dr. Muldoon “These hospitals’ care teams often perform small miracles in helping patients recover to their fullest potential.”

    Care at a transitional care hospital includes daily visits by specialty physicians who coordinate with a team of nurses, therapists, dietitians, pharmacists and other specialists. This care team tailors specialized care plans to address all of the patient’s medical needs.

    How Kindred Can Help

    If a transitional care hospital is recommended as the best option for additional care and recovery, there is a very good chance that such a hospital will be operated by Kindred Healthcare. Kindred’s 70+ transitional care hospitals are part of a nationwide network that has been providing compassionate care and clinical expertise for over 30 years. Kindred is a leader in caring for chronically and critically ill patients, and brings specialized expertise to deliver hope, healing and recovery to patients and families in the many communities it serves.

    In the Louisville area, Kindred operates two locations -- a 123-bed hospital at 1313 St. Anthony Place and a 30-bed unit inside Jewish Hospital.

    To learn if either of these hospitals are the right options for you or a loved one, please call the Kindred Contact Center at 1.866.KINDRED. A Registered Nurse will walk you through what care options best fit your needs, at no cost to you.

    Photos courtesy of Kindred Healthcare.