Wednesday, October 2 2013, 09:56 PM MDT
ICU Patients Vulnerable to Cognitive Impairment
(KUTV) A new study shows many intensive care patients who survive a life threatening illness may leave the hospital with cognitive problems similar to Alzheimer's disease.
New research shows many patients like Lisa with no history of memory problems can leave the hospital with long term cognitive impairment. Researchers at Vanderbilt University looked at about 800 ICU patients. They found 74 percent developed Delirium in the hospital which made them more likely to develop a dementia-like disease after discharge.
What nobody has ever shown before is that in a general surgical ICU population that three out of four people are leaving the hospital with profound cognitive impairment that looks a lot like Alzheimer's disease or traumatic brain injury.
Doctors are recommending cognitive rehabilitation for Lisa; they've even prescribed a drug to treat Alzheimer's disease to keep what brain function she has.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)