In addition to being closely monitored, patients in ICU often require medication to keep them comfortable, which may diminish their level of responsiveness. The level of sedation will vary from person to person, depending on their condition. Some patients are easily arousable and are able to converse, while others may need to be sedated enough that they are unresponsive to verbal stimulation.
It is important to remember that although ICU patients may not be able to respond to a voice or touch, they may still be able to hear and feel. Visiting family members should talk to them, hold their hand, and let them know they are loved.