A recent study done for Covid-19 found that patients suffer from Acute Brain Dysfunction.
Covid-19 patients under the intensive care admitted in the early months of the pandemic had a higher risk of delirium and coma than those admitted for respiratory failure, according to the study. The study, published in the journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, followed episodes of dementia and fainting of more than 2,000 Covid-19 patients received before April 28, of the previous year in 69 adults under intensive care centres in 14 countries.
According to scientists, led by those at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in the US, the selection of anaesthetics and restrictions on family visits have played a role in increased acute brain dysfunction in these patients. They said the ICU delirium was associated with higher medical costs and a higher risk of death and long-term ICU-related dementia.
About 82 percent of the patients in that study were in a state of coma over a period of ten days, and 55 percent were adversely affected by the three-day treatment. Scientists have observed that acute brain dysfunction lasts for 12 days. "This is twice as high as in non-Covid ICU patients," informed one of the study author Brenda Pun of VUMC. Scientists believe that Covid-19 could put patients at a higher risk for brain dysfunction.
However, they also noted that aspects of patient care, some of which are related to the stress caused by health care by the pandemic, also appear to play a major role.
With regard to Covid-19, scientists believe that there has been a widespread abandonment of new clinical programs that have been proven to help prevent brain dysfunction that often affects many critically ill patients. "It is clear from our findings that many ICUs have reverted to sedentary practices that are not in line with the guidelines for optimal performance and we are left to speculate on the causes," Pun said.
Analyzing patient characteristics from electronic health records, and care habits and findings from clinical trials, scientists found that about 90 percent of patients followed in the study were ventilated mechanically at some point in the hospital, and 67 percent on the day of ICU admission. Patients receiving benzodiazepine sedative infusions were 59 percent more likely to get delirium, they added. In comparison, patients receiving family visits are less than 30 percent more likely to develop the disease, the study said. "There is no reason to assume that, since the closure of our study, the condition of these patients has changed," said the study's lead author, Pratik Pandharipande.