CNS Communiqué

HOSPITALS CAN PREVENT ICU DEMENTIA

Each year, 5.7 million Americans develop long-term mental effects like dementia and confusion as a result of being in the ICU.  These mental problems can be as pronounced as those experienced by people with Alzheimer’s disease or a traumatic brain injury; many patients never fully recover.  However, research shows patients are less likely to suffer those effects if their doctors and nurses follow a procedure that is gaining ground in ICUs nationwide.  The steps are part of a bundle of actions aimed at reducing delirium in ICU patients.  Following this checklist of actions can reduce the risk of mental impairment following an ICU stay by 25% to 30%.