Doctor studying the nature of sleep, ICU delirium

Resource type: News

Temple Daily Telegram |

Original Source

by Janice Gibbs

A person in an intensive care unit is sick, quite sick.

Add to that the complication of intensive care delirium and a bad experience gets worse.

Dr. Shirley Jones, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Scott & White, has started a research study in an effort to understand the relationship between sleep, circadian rhythm – the internal time clock, and ICU delirium.

“It’s very, very common,” Jones said.

The incidence of delirium in ICU is 48 percent to 80 percent and the elderly are particularly susceptible, Jones said.

The study – Understanding the Relationship Between Sleep, Circadian Rhythm, and Intensive Care Unit Delirium – is possible because of a grant Jones received.

“This an important and prestigious award,” said Dr. Alejandro C. Arroliga, chairman of the Department of Medicine at Scott & White and division director of pulmonary care/critical care and sleep disorders.

Hundreds of research projects were submitted for this competitive grant, Arroliga said.

“We know there is a high percentage of people who experience delirium while they’re in intensive care,” he said. “The problem is if you develop delirium, you tend to stay longer in the ICU and the mortality rate is higher.”

Also, those with ICU delirium, who survive, are more likely to suffer with post traumatic stress disorder, Arroliga said.

Copyright © 2009, Temple Daily Telegram

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