Longer bouts of delirium may put ICU survivors at risk for mental deficits

U.S. researchers looked at 821 patients treated in intensive care units for respiratory failure, cardiogenic shock, or septic shock, and found that those who experienced delirium for an average of five days had lower neuropsychological status scores at three and 12 months than those without delirium. After 12 months, 34% and 24% of the ICU survivors obtained scores that were the same for individuals suffering from moderate traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer's disease, respectively. The findings appear in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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