International Walk for PICS Day

Join us as we walk for PICS

Saturday, September 30, 2023

At the CIBS Center and the Vanderbilt ICU Recovery Center, we strive to raise awareness of PICS among medical providers, mental health practitioners, and the public, as there are countless ICU survivors who spend months, and even years, seeking answers to why they are permanently changed after critical illness. 

As part of our efforts, we have organized a simple walk of any number of miles (or even less than a mile, if that is the distance that is most appropriate) to help remember that recovery is a journey, to celebrate the act of survivorship, to push against the limitations that PICS often brings, and to raise awareness of this complicated syndrome.

Where is the walk?

Individuals can walk anywhere in the U.S., either on their own or with loved ones. It is our desire that every ICU survivor living with PICS knows they are not alone and that there is hope and support for their journey.

Can kids participate?

Of course! Post-intensive Care Syndrome in Pediatrics (PICS-p) impacts countless children and families worldwide every year. Let's fight together to spread the word and celebrate survivorship after critical illness for our young patients. If you walk for pediatrics, you can log your distance after your walk at the PICS-p form.

Count Me In!

I would like to Walk for PICS on Saturday, September 30!

After you walk, don't forget to post photos on social media and tag them as #Walk4PICS.

Thank you! Your submission has been received.
If you have requested an email reminder, you can expect to receive it the week of Sept. 25.
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What is PICS?

More than 5 million patients are admitted annually to U.S. intensive care units (ICUs)1. With advances in modern medicine, approximately 70 percent of those patients survive2, with severity of illness and other individual factors playing a role in long-term outcomes. Of those who survive their critical illness, many experience Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) – a collection of new or worsening impairments in the cognitive, physical, or mental health realm3.
1 Society for Critical Care Medicine
2 Pandharipande, P. et al. (2013). Long-term cognitive impairment after critical illness. The New England Journal of Medicine.

What are the effects of PICS?

Many survivors experience striking impairments in all three areas, meaning individuals living with PICS, along with their families, often experience notable challenges in multiple facets of their lives. These problems are as varied as the survivors themselves, but some common themes include:  

  • New and worsening health problems and physical weakness
  • Inability to return to work for an extended period, with some forced into early retirement
  • Trouble applying and being approved for disability insurance, which often leads to financial hardship
  • Loss of health insurance coverage for survivors without a working spouse
  • Significant mental distress due to ICU-related trauma, affecting relationships and quality of life
  • Severe cognitive impacts that mirror dementia