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Covid-19 patients suffer from delusions

Kim Victory, 31, was hospitalized last spring in the intensive care unit due to severe respiratory depression from Covid-19. She relates having lived hallucinatory episodes, during which she felt paralyzed, burning alive, or even transformed into an ice statue.

“It seemed so real and I was so terrified,” she recalls, finally returning home to Franklin, Tennessee in the United States.

A large number of patients report having had similar experiences. This phenomenon even has a name: hospital delirium. This is a serious and common side effect of intensive care unit (ICU) treatments. It usually affects elderly patients with previous signs of dementia. Hospitals have developed measures to reduce the manifestation.

But “it was all wiped out by the Covid,” says Dr. E. Wesley Ely, co-director of the Center for Serious Diseases, Brain Dysfunction and Survival at Vanderbilt University, whose team developed guidelines for hospitals to reduce the occurrence of delusions.

Now, whatever their age, patients with Covid-19 can be affected, without necessarily having previously had dementia or cognitive impairment.


“data-reactid =” 31 “> Hospital and scientific reports suggest that approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of people with Covid-19 in ICU have experienced hospital delirium in various ways. Some suffer from” hyperactive delirium “resulting in hallucinations and restlessness. Others present a” hypoactive delirium “characterized by internalized visions and confusion causing withdrawal and (…) Read more on