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Study finds more than 70% of COVID-19 ICU patients experience delirium, could illuminate long haulers’ symptoms

An operating room in a hospital in Ethiopia.
An operating room in a hospital in Ethiopia.

A new study from the University of Michigan helps validate the mental health problems many long-haul COVID-19 patients experience.

More than 70% of COVID-19 patients in the ICU experience "delirium," which is a mental disturbance that can impact thinking and memory and even cause hallucination.

Researchers followed up with these patients one to two months after they'd been discharged from the hospital. And they found 1 in 4 still had delirium or cognitive impairment. That could help doctors understand why long haulers experience these symptoms, said Dr. Wes Ely of Vanderbilt University.

"That's a form of suffering that makes these people feel crazy, isolated and not themselves anymore. And it dehumanizes them if they are not validated and seen."