‘ICU Delirium’ Is Leaving COVID-19 Patients Scared and Confused

May 5, 2020

(The Atlantic) – Spending time in the ICU, especially for anyone with COVID-19, is a dangerous, physically taxing experience: Only the most seriously ill patients land in intensive care, where many undergo a number of complex medical treatments at once, making them even more vulnerable to life-threatening complications. Ten to 30 percent of the sickest, oldest patients who enter don’t make it out. But for survivors, the mental toll can be even more severe than the physical one. About one in three patients who spends more than five days in the ICU will experience some kind of psychotic reaction, which often takes the shape of delirium—an intense confusion that the patient can’t snap out of.