A medical condition that causes a patient in an intensive care unit to experience disorientation and hallucinations.
Although this 69-year-old woman was deeply confused, she was actually acting quite normally. She was experiencing a disturbance called I.C.U. psychosis, observed with increasing frequency as intensive care units proliferate. . . [Most] hospitals with more than 100 beds have some form of intensive care unit. About a third of the patients who spend more than five days there will experience some form of psychotic reaction.
—Sandeep Jauhar, “When a Stay in Intensive Care Unhinges the Mind,” The New York Times, December 8, 1998
Ms. Fogle said DeVries told her Friday that Clark has completely recovered from periods of confusion and forgetfulness suffered several weeks earlier while he was in the surgical intensive care unit.
The condition, called ICU psychosis, occurs in about 25 percent of intensive care patients, Ms. Fogle said. It is caused by the constant beeping of electronic monitors, taking of blood samples and changing of intravenous tubes, she said.
—Donna Anderson, “Clark Said To Be Over Periods Of Confusion,” The Associated Press, February 25, 1983
One of the human elements injected into the intensive care philosophy is to help the patients cope with what is termed “ICU psychosis” which can set in as patients spend seemingly endless days under constant supervised care and observation.
—Larry Eckholt, “Staying alive,” The Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa), May 9, 1976
This term is also called ICU syndrome and, as the citation from the Times, above, shows, it's also spelled I.C.U. psychosis.