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This page contains advice and information about intensive care. It tells you how critical illness may be treated and what recovery may be like. Not every patient will experience all of these things, but they are more likely to if they have been in intensive care for more than a few days. Most of this page is written for patients but there is a section specifically for relatives and visitors. By reading this, relatives will learn what a patientʼs recovery may involve and it will give them the answers to some of the questions they may have. Recovery is often a long and slow process. To begin with, patients may not feel up to reading this information, so if you are a relative, please keep hold of this information and pass it on when the patient is ready. One of the scariest things about having a critical illness is not knowing whatʼs going to happen. This information canʼt answer all your questions, but it will answer many of them. It will try to tell you what may happen and where you can find out more information. Each section covers a different stage of the process of treatment and recovery. You can read it all in one go, or you can just read each section when you need to. This information was produced by ICUsteps, a charity that supports intensive care patients. It has been written by people who have either been treated in an intensive care unit or are close relatives of someone who has. It has also been reviewed by a wide variety of intensive care professionals. Visit their website,, where you can learn more information and send any comments using the ʻcontact usʼ form or by e-mailing