A study of 150 patients hospitalised for COVID in the US at the beginning of the pandemic found that 73 per cent had delirium, a serious disturbance in mental state wherein a person is confused, agitated and unable to think clearly. The study, published in BMJ Open, looked at nearly 150 patients hospitalised for Covid at the beginning of the pandemic. Of these, 73 per cent had delirium.
Patients with delirium tended to be sicker, with more comorbidities like hypertension and diabetes, and appeared to have more severe Covid-related illness as well, said study author Phillip Vlisides, from the Department of Anesthesiology at Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan. The researchers used patient medical records and telephone surveys following hospital discharge for a group of patients hospitalised in the intensive care unit between March and May 2020. They attempted to identify common threads amongst patients who developed delirium. The researchers noted that the disease itself can lead to reduced oxygen to the brain as well as the development of blood clots and stroke, resulting in cognitive impairment. Inflammatory markers were greatly increased in patients with delirium. Confusion and agitation could be a result of inflammation of the brain, they said. The disease itself can lead to reduced oxygen to the brain as well as the development of blood clots and stroke, resulting in cognitive impairment. The study also found that cognitive impairment can persist even after discharge.