Delirium and Post-Discharge Neuropsychological Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19: an Institutional Case Series

Jacqueline Ragheb, Amy McKinney, Mackenzie Zierau, Joseph Brooks, Maria Hill-Caruthers, Mina Iskander, Yusuf Ahmed, Remy Lobo, Phillip E. Vlisides

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Received date: 10th November 2020

Delirium is a serious and common complication among critically ill patients with COVID-19. The objective of this study was to characterize the clinical course of delirium for COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit, including post-discharge cognitive outcomes. A retrospective chart review was conducted for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 (n=148) admitted to an intensive care unit at Michigan Medicine between 3/1/2020 and 5/31/2020. Delirium was identified in 107/148 (72%) patients in the study cohort, with median (interquartile range) duration lasting 10 (4 – 17) days. Sedative regimens, inflammation, deviation from delirium prevention protocols, and hypoxic-ischemic injury were likely contributing factors, and the most common disposition for delirious patients was a skilled care facility (41/148, 38%). Among patients who were delirious during hospitalization, 4/17 (24%) later tested positive for delirium at home based on caretaker assessment, 5/22 (23%) demonstrated signs of questionable cognitive impairment or cognitive impairment consistent with dementia, and 3/25 (12%) screened positive for depression within two months after discharge. Overall, patients with COVID-19 commonly experience a prolonged course of delirium in the intensive care unit, likely with multiple contributing factors. Furthermore, neuropsychological impairment may persist after discharge.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

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Nature Research, Springer Nature