Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Hospital delirium: not as negligible as previously thought

 

University of NE Medical Center in midtown Omaha

University of NE Medical Center in midtown Omaha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

My sister, a nurse practitioner, posted this on Facebook. Something to keep in mind if you have a loved one in ICU..

 

From the 6 August article at Nebraska Live Well

 

Medical professionals once thought patient delirium was a benign byproduct of landing in an intensive care unit.

Now they know otherwise.

Delirium caused by medications, illness and other sources can lead to permanent confusion and death, say experts in ICU delirium.

The Nebraska Medical Center has tested a new set of strategies to combat and diminish hospital delirium. Although the results haven’t been compiled yet, scientists and medical practitioners hope the protocol will make a difference in patients’ conditions in the hospital and after release.

We used to think it just goes away,” Michele Balas, a faculty member at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said of delirium. Balas, whose doctorate is in nursing, has overseen the research.

Delirium can affect people for the rest of their lives, she said, and may cause depression, memory loss and post-traumatic stress disorder, and affect the cognitive functions required for such simple tasks as balancing a checkbook or following a recipe.

Sedation, sometimes used when patients are on ventilators or are delirious, makes it impossible for them to regain alertness and get up, Balas said. Prolonged bed rest can cause pneumonia and blood clots,

The strategy, called ABCDE, involves getting patients off sedation as soon as possible (Awakening); removing them from ventilators for at least a while so they breathe on their own (Breathing); communication and coordination (C) among doctors, nurses and others; delirium monitoring by staffers (D); and early mobility (E), or getting them up and moving as soon as possible, even patients on ventilators

 

 

 

 

August 8, 2012 - Posted by | health care | , ,

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