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Len Rome’s Local Health: Delirium in critical COVID-19 patients

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Delirium is different for every patient and most people recover

(WYTV) – We’re starting to learn more about how the corornavirus affects our brains. It can cause delirium. That could mean hallucinations, trouble speaking, thinking.

Patients can become agitated, suffer delusions, have visions and certainly become confused.

How is the virus doing this? The theory is that this delirium may develop because the brain is short on oxygen.

“The brain is not getting enough oxygen in some of these patients just because of the severe respiratory issues and, for an extended amount of time, that can cause some of the individual brain cells to die and over time that death of some of these brain cells could be permanent and that could cause delirium in itself,” said Dr. Pravin George from The Cleveland Clinic.

Doctors see delirium often enough in intensive care patients. The steps doctors take to overcome delirium don’t seem to work well with the virus.

They suspect the virus itself may affect brain tissue and cause delirium.

Delirium is different for every patient and most people recover. We’re just starting to learn about the long-term consequences.  

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