Navigation Links
Haunted by hallucinations: Children in the PICU traumatized by delusions
Date:5/1/2008

Nearly one in three children admitted to pediatric intensive care will experience delusions or hallucinations, which put them at higher risk for post-traumatic stress symptoms, according to a new study of childrens experiences in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

The study, which appears in the first issue for May of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society, is believed to be the largest ever conducted on childrens memories of PICU.

The results confirmed the clinical experience of the studys first author, Gillian Colville, B.Sc., M.Phil., a clinical psychologist, and underscore the need to look at this issue more closely. I have worked for 16 years in pediatric intensive care and have seen a considerable number of children in distress, but have found that there is very little in the literature about childrens experiences, said Ms. Colville.

To determine whether she was witnessing a unique population of children, or if hallucinations and delusional memories were an overlooked but common experience for children in the PICU, Ms. Colville and her collaborators recruited children over the age of seven who were discharged from the 21-bed PICU at Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital in London, over the course of 18 months. Each childs medical condition and treatment was noted and they were given a psychological interview three months after discharge to screen them for post-traumatic stress symptoms in relation to their memories.

Of the 102 children who completed interviews, two in three recalled something factual about their stay at the PICU and half of these had only fragmentary, single memories, mostly images of family members. But one in three children reported delusional memories of their stay in PICU, including hallucinations. It was these children who reported delusional memories that had a significantly higher score on the post-traumatic stress screening test than others.

These findings are interesting because it has been assumed that the actual experiences in the PICU would be more likely to lead to post-traumatic stress symptoms following discharge, said Ms. Colville. However, our results indicate that post-traumatic stress symptoms are associated with delusional memories rather than factual ones. The hallucinations children reported were overwhelmingly disturbing and frightening, similar to those reported by adult intensive care patients and heroin addicts going through withdrawal.

The findings have important clinical implications, as the timing of the hallucinations appeared to coincide with the period during which they were being weaned off the sedatives commonly prescribed on PICU (benzodiazepines and opiates) and children were five times as likely to report having had delusions or hallucinations if they had been prescribed opiates and benzodiazepines for more than two days.

The authors do not suggest that the drugs be discontinued, but that they do warrant further study. Additional research could establish whether alternative types of sedation or the introduction of drug holidays might produce fewer traumatic delusional memories. The authors also suggest altering the physical environment and providing psychological orientation cues for children in the PICU, such as demarcating day and night, to help reduce these symptoms.

But above all, medical professionals and families should be made aware of the possibility that children may have these disturbing hallucinatory experiences, and greater efforts should be made to monitor their psychological adjustment after PICU, said Ms. Colville.


'/>"/>

Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. San Diego Dentist Haunted by Smiles in Dominican Republic
2. Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christophers Hospital for Children Extend Current Agreement With Independence Blue Cross
3. Children More Vulnerable to Harmful Effects of Lead at Age 6 Than as Toddlers, Says New Study
4. Overcoming Im in Control Syndrome and Providing Help When Patients Least Expect It Can Benefit Children and Teens With Asthma
5. Young Children Hospitalized for Flu Associated With Higher Costs and Higher Risk Illness
6. New Research From Packard Childrens Hospital Experts Presented at 2008 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting
7. How to manage Chinese obese children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
8. Measurements Poor for Assessing Clinical Trials With Children
9. 20 Million Kids Books Distributed, 25% of U.S. Children in Poverty Getting Books, 50,000 Doctors Trained: Three Key Milestones for Reach Out and Read
10. New Web Community Brings Together Parents of Visually Impaired Children
11. Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christophers Hospital for Children Receive Prestigious Tenet Circle of Excellence Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department ... in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at ... Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 The Academy of ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to ... entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move ... of new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions ... appear on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... PUNE, India , June 24, 2016 ... "Pen Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety ... 12mm), Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase ... published by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for ... is expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: