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The SGB Injection for PTSD after a Critical Illness

Although many individuals associate post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with veterans, there are many reasons why you might experience PTSD at some point in your life and PTSD after a serious illness is extremely common. If you were diagnosed with an illness that left you in the hospital or in the intensive care unit (ICU), you are at risk of developing PTSD after the traumatic experience. However, new PTSD injection treatments offered by our experienced team are looking to help people recover emotionally after their illness and reduce ongoing effects on their mental health.

What is the effect of illness on your risk of developing PTSD?

If you have recently contracted an illness that left you in hospital and more specifically in the intensive care unit, you are at risk of developing PTSD. In fact, 50% of patients that had to stay in the Intensive Care Unit for a week or more, or contracted illnesses such as sepsis, had PTSD from their experiences during their recovery. Additionally, over 30% of people have PTSD if they have been on ventilators in a hospital environment.

​Even after you have recovered from your illness, you might be triggered by hospital scenes on the television, or routine medication such as paracetamol, for example. These can all be reminders of the trauma that you have experienced. This is especially common if these occurrences are unexpected.

​If you have PTSD after a life threatening illness, you may be fixated on ideas and images of death, pain and illness, feel agitated and angry when having routine operations or when in a hospital environment, and have flashbacks of your time in hospital. You may also be unable to sleep or concentrate, and become angry at the people that you loved during mood swings.You may also feel dread at the thought of getting other health conditions or feel panicked when you become ill.

​Sufferers might also have memory loss of their time in hospital and may even have muscle tension or weakness. PTSD after a critical illness is important to solve as this can prevent you from seeking the treatment that you need for other conditions in the future, such as attending doctor’s appointments or taking medication.

Why is PTSD after illness under-researched?

Although PTSD after an illness is extremely common in those battling life-threatening health conditions, this particular strain is often under-researched due to the misconception that PTSD is solely caused by war. Many people with conditions such as cancer, which may not be included in the research performed on PTSD caused by critical care units, go on to develop PTSD. This could allow a proportion of people with the condition to be overlooked.

​However, research would help medical professionals to diagnose the condition and the people whose health conditions are at the most risk of developing mental illness. For instance, digestive diseases and cancers were recently found to be the most common illnesses which cause PTSD, and knowing this can help medical professionals to stay aware of the symptoms and change their treatment plans. This research would then allow people to get the physical and mental treatment that they need to recover fully.

What is SGB and what is its effect on PTSD?

The stellate ganglion block, or SGB, is a procedure that we use to reduce and relieve pain when operations are taking place. First, an x-ray is used to guide a needle into a base of nerve tissue in the back of the neck. Then, a local anesthetic is injected into the area, which decreases norepinephrine levels and helps to reduce pain. Unlike other anesthetic procedures, this can last for weeks and even months if the right method is used. The risk factors of this PTSD injection in the neck are very low, making it an excellent option for conditions whose other treatments have negative side effects, such as PTSD.

​Although the SGB was originally thought of as simply a treatment for pain-related conditions, its usage for PTSD has recently become apparent, with a great amount of research being taken to discover the symptoms which it could help to solve. SGB treatments for PTSD are particularly useful in cases where an individual has struggled to find a traditional treatment which works effectively for them. This revolutionary PTSD breakthrough injection can help to solve many of the physical, and thereby the emotional, effects of PTSD by preventing nerve signals from leaving the neck.

​SBG treatments help to reduce a patient’s experience of panic, aches and pains, and muscle tension, hypervigilance, and the body’s survival response. This can help patients with PTSD to be better able to cope with their condition through the reduction of the most debilitating symptoms.

​For those whose PTSD after an illness is actively having a negative impact on their life, SGB treatments can be incredibly effective, helping sufferers to cope with the symptoms of PTSD such as hypervigilance and the ‘fight or flight’ response, which they may feel when in a hospital setting or when around medical equipment. With little side effects and long-term outcome, SGB treatments are one of the newest and innovative ways to treat PTSD after an illness, so make sure to get in touch with our experienced and dedicated team to discuss your treatment options to help combat your PTSD. 

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