Delirium Incidence, Duration and Severity in Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19

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Background: Delirium incidence, duration and severity in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) due to COVID-19 is not known. Methods: We conducted an observational study at two large urban academic Level 1 trauma centers. Consecutive patients admitted to the ICU with a positive SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab polymerase chain reaction test from March 1st, 2020 to April 27, 2020, were included. Individuals younger than 18 years of age, without any documented delirium assessments (CAM-ICU), or without a discharge disposition were excluded. The primary outcomes were delirium rates and delirium duration and the secondary outcome was delirium severity. Outcomes were assessed for up to the first 14 days of ICU stay. Results: Of 243 consecutive patients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted to the ICU, 144 met eligibility criteria and were included in the analysis. Delirium occurred in 73.6% (106/144) and delirium or coma occurred in 76.4% (110/144). Sixty-three percent of patients were positive for delirium on the first CAM-ICU assessment. The median duration of delirium and coma was 7 days (IQR: 3-10), and the median delirium duration was 5 days (IQR: 2-7). The median CAM-ICU-7 score was 6 (IQR: 4-7) representing severe delirium. Mechanical ventilation was associated with greater odds of developing delirium (OR: 42.1, 95%CI: 13.0-137.1). Mortality was 26.4% in patients with delirium compared to 15.8% in patients without delirium. Conclusions: 73.6% of patients admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 experience delirium that persists for approximately 1 week. Invasive mechanical ventilation is significantly associated with odds of delirium. Clinical attention to prevent and manage delirium and reduce delirium duration and severity is urgently needed for patients with COVID-19.

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Khan, S. H., Lindroth, H., Perkins, A. J., Jamil, Y., Wang, S., Roberts, S., Farber, M. O., Rahman, O., Gao, S., Marcantonio, E. R., Boustani, M., Machado, R., & Khan, B. A. (2020). Delirium Incidence, Duration and Severity in Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19. MedRxiv, 2020.05.31.20118679.
Babar Khan, Sujuan Gao, and Anthony Perkins are supported through NIA R01 AG 055391, R01 AG 052493 and NHLBI R01 HL131730. Anthony Perkins is also supported by NIA grants 1K23AG062555-01 and R01AG056325. Roberto Machado is supported by 1R01HL111656, 1R01HL127342 and 1R01HL133951. Sophia Wang is supported by K23AG062555-01. Edward Marcantonio is supported by grants R01AG044518 and K24AG035075 from the NIA. Malaz Boustani received funding from NIA R01AG034205 and disclosed that he has ownership equity in two for profit companies, Preferred Population Health Management and RestUp. The products and services of the two companies are not related to the research activities of the paper.
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