ANCHOR LEAD: COMMON PRACTICES IN THE ICU MAY CAUSE LONG LASTING PROBLEMS FOR PATIENTS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Some practices common in intensive care units need reexamination and perhaps should be abandoned, a recent New York Times article illustrated. Dale Needham, an ICU physician at Johns Hopkins who was cited in the article, says one change may be how drugs like Valium, one of the class known as benzodiazapines, should be used.
NEEDHAM: Virtually the entire class of benzodiazepine sedative drugs appear to be associated with delirium. Our approach that’s talked about in the New York Times and practiced in the ICU at Johns Hopkins Hospital is to simply reduce or where possible eliminate the use of benzodiazapines. What we’ve found is that patients can be comfortable with only small or intermittent use of narcotic medications and benzodiazapines as opposed to continuous infusion. :29
Delirium may be related to the development of post traumatic stress disorder in people who’ve been in the ICU. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.