Building access to the Regenstrief Institute is currently restricted. More on our coronavirus precautions.
See our coronavirus precautions.
Patient on life support in ICU

A new study shows that critically ill patients are not benefiting from antipsychotic medications that doctors have been using to treat delirium in patients in intensive care units. The evidence suggests doctors may need to re-examine the practice. Regenstrief investigator Babar Khan, M.D., was a co-author on the study.

Each year, more than seven million hospitalized patients in the United States develop delirium. The acute brain failure results in confusion and long-term memory problems.

The large study, MIND-USA (Modifying the INcidence of Delirium), sought to answer whether typical and atypical antipsychotics — haloperidol or ziprasidone — affected delirium, survival, length of stay or safety in ICU patients. Researchers screened nearly 21,000 patients at 16 U.S. medical centers. Of the 1,183 patients on mechanical ventilation or in shock, 566 became delirious and were randomized into groups receiving either intravenous haloperidol, ziprasidone or placebo (saline). Results showed that patients who received the drugs did not experience any improvements whatsoever in delirium, coma, length of stay or survival.

Study authors say the medicines are bringing risk and cost without benefit, based on the outcomes measured in this study. Doctors have been prescribing the drugs for 40 years.

Dr. Khan, who worked on this study, has conducted extensive studies on treating and preventing delirium. He led a project at Regenstrief that developed and validated the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit 7. It’s an easy-to-use method to determine the severity of delirium.

The MIND-USA study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Related News

Oct 20, 2021 • News
Regenstrief researcher wins human factors and ergonomics innovators award
Regenstrief Research Scientist Richard Holden, PhD, was awarded the Jack Kraft Innovators Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society at the organization’s 2021 international annual meeting.   The award honors an individual for significant efforts to extend or diversify the application of human factors and ergonomics principles and methods as well as effective efforts to encourage the application of these techniques in new areas.  …
Continue Reading >
Oct 19, 2021 • News
Newer depression screeners successfully measure symptoms and follow progress of treatment
Screening especially important in light of COVID-19 pandemic Depression is the second most disabling condition in the world, after pain, so screening and diagnosis are crucial to improving outcomes for patients, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Research from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine shows that the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement…
Continue Reading >