August 9, 2018

Effect of sedation levels on postop delirium in elderly hip fracture patients

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

Limiting the level of sedation in elderly hip fracture patients with low comorbid states (Charlson comorbidity index [CCI] of 0) reduced postoperative delirium in this study.

Of 200 elderly patients analyzed (100 in lighter sedation and 100 in heavier sedation levels), there was no statistically significant difference in delirium risk between groups−34% in the lighter sedation group vs 39% with heavier sedation.

However, when patients were stratified by CCI, sedation levels did affect the delirium risk. In low comorbid states (CCI=0), heavier sedation levels doubled the risk of delirium. The level of sedation did not affect delirium risk with a CCI more than 0.

Because of the findings, the challenge for future research will be to determine the relationship between comorbidities and precipitating risk factors for postoperative delirium, the researchers say.

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