New research at Johns Hopkins suggests that critically ill patients receiving steroids in a hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) are significantly more likely to develop delirium. Results of their research, they say, suggest minimizing the use of steroids could reduce delirium in the ICU. While it usually goes away after a few days, studies show delirium in the ICU has a long-term impact. It has been associated with worse functional recovery and cognitive impairments of a magnitude consistent with moderate traumatic brain injury or mild Alzheimer's disease. Overall, up to 80 percent of ventilated patients develop delirium in the ICU, and researchers have been looking for risk factors. In a report published in the June issue of the journal Critical Care Medicine, the investigators said that in more than one-third of the ICU days evaluated, mechanically ventilated patients with acute lung injury were given systemic corticosteroids at a range of doses during their ICU stay. For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 330 acute lung injury patients with a collective 2,286 days in an ICU at four Baltimore hospitals between October 2004 and October 2007. They found that patients were 52 percent more likely to newly develop delirium if they had been treated with steroids on the prior day. Older age was also associated with an increased risk of developing delirium. Delirium can be marked by poor memory and thinking, sometimes with disorientation, hallucinations and agitation. "We need to be cautious in our use of steroids in critically ill patients and weigh the risks and benefits of using them," says study leader Dale M. Needham, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine and of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Sometimes they are necessary, but we need to be thoughtful about minimizing the dose and duration of steroid use when possible." Needham says there are a wide variety of reasons why an ICU patient would receive steroids. They may be ordered to respond to inflammation in the lung or elsewhere in the body. Steroids also were used frequently to treat septic shock in the ICU, but more recent studies have shown fewer benefits from steroids in this condition. Other research being done by Needham and his group suggests that steroids may also have an effect on patients' physical impairments after they leave the ICU. Source: Eurekalert << Psychologist Claims That Britain may Have Over 15,000 Vampi... Scientists Develop a Better Tool for Tracking Multiple Scle... >> Recommended Reading Brain Steroids can Shape a Male's Parenting Skills In males, testosterone is generally associated with aggression and definitely not with good parenting. READ MORE Inhibiting Neural Apoptosis With Recombinant Adenovirus-Mediated 3β-Hydroxysteroid-Δ24 Reductase Localizing of the multifunctional enzyme 3β-Hydroxysteroid-Δ24 reductase (DHCR24) to the endoplasmic reticulum has neuroprotective and cholesterol-synthesizing abilities. READ MORE Steroids Ineffective and Possibly Harmful in Pediatric Liver Disease Treating infants with high doses of steroids fails to improve medical outcomes in the end-stage pediatric liver disease biliary atresia, says a new study. READ MORE Research Sheds Light on Outcomes of Steroid Therapy Following Surgery for Infants With Bile Duct Disorder Study says administration of high-dose steroid therapy following surgery did not significantly improve bile drainage after 6 months. READ MORE Anabolic Steroids Anabolic steroids can produce power- packed, adrenaline – pumping performances but they also reflect a saga of condemnation and shame. READ MORE Are Steroids Bad For You? Steroids are miracle drugs but have to be used with caution. Some steroids are illegal to use, without prescription. Most steroids have severe side effects hence, these must be taken under strict medical supervision. READ MORE Cannabis Cannabis has a long history of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use and comes from a bushy plant with thick sticky flowers called Cannabis Sativa READ MORE Drug Abuse The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse or substance abuse. Drug abuse or substance abuse is initiated by various biological and social factors. READ MORE Intensive Care Unit Acquired Weakness (ICUAW) Intensive Care Unit Acquired Weakness (ICUAW) affects critically ill patients on prolonged ICU stay, which is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Post-Nasal Drip Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Find a Doctor More News on: CannabisDrug AbuseAnabolic SteroidsIntensive Care Unit Acquired Weakness (ICUAW)Are Steroids Bad For You?