News
November 5, 2018

Antipsychotic drugs do not benefit patients suffering delirium in ICU

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

Dawn Bravata, MD

COVID did not affect stroke patient care quality or outcomes in nation’s largest healthcare system

In one of the first studies to investigate the overall quality of care and outcomes of stroke care for

Richard Holden and Noll Campbell

Helping the Helpers: Leveraging information technology to support caregiver medication management for the millions of individuals who live with dementia

Innovative methodology involves caregivers as co-designers not simply informants and includes virtual component More than 21 million people provide

Thankham Thyvalikakath

Linking medical and dental records in health information exchanges could improve dental patient safety, preventive care, and treatment outcomes

New $2.4 million NIH award supports efforts to go beyond current inefficient, paper-based approach to data sharing Dental professionals

karen crow

Experienced financial executive named Regenstrief Institute CFO

INDIANAPOLIS – Karen Crow, a veteran financial executive and consultant with more than 30 years of experience, will join