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Antipsychotics Not Helpful for Delirium in ICU

Antipsychotics Not Helpful for Delirium in ICU

Delirium is a confused mental state that includes changes in awareness, thinking, judgment, sleeping patterns, and behavior. It can affect patients of any age but is more common among older adults who experience major illness or have a major surgery.

More than half of patients who are given mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit (ICU) experience delirium.

Antipsychotic medications have been used to treat delirium in ICU patients for over 40 years without a complete understanding of their effects.

To investigate the benefits and risks, a team led by Dr. E. Wesley Ely at Vanderbilt University studied patients at 16 medical centers nationwide.

The research was supported in part by NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA). Results were published online on October 22, 2018, in the New England Journal of Medicine.

September 10, 2019

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