Common ICU drug is completely useless
It's one of those things that's done almost automatically in many hospitals -- and no one has ever paused to question it.
It's time to ask some questions, my friend, because new research shows how one of the most common drugs given to older patients, especially in the ICU, is ALL risk and NO benefit!
Every day, seniors in hospitals across the nation are put on powerful antipsychotic drugs.
It's not because they're having "psychotic" episodes. It's not even because they have a history of them.
They could be calm, cool, and collected -- but because between one-third and a half of seniors in the ICU eventually battle a frightening condition called delirium, docs think that drugging them early will help stop it before it starts.
That's right. Drug EVERYONE for a condition that only SOME people will develop!
That's not just an insane approach to medicine. It also runs counter to science -- because there's ZERO research to back this approach.
Now, the three-year study finds just the opposite.
It finds that giving off-label haloperidol (a.k.a. Haldol) to seniors doesn't cut the risk of delirium when given preventively in the ICU.
The mainstream is stunned, but this shouldn't surprise anyone.
One of the main drivers of hospital delirium is OVER-medication. If too many drugs are causing the problem, why would anyone think that adding more to the mix will help?
The real answer is to stop pumping every drug in the pharmacy into patients every time they come through the door.
Any number of drugs -- including common antibiotics -- have been linked to delirium, an effect that's magnified when several of these mind-numbing meds are given at once.
The real solution is that docs should take more time, be more careful, and use ONLY the drugs that are absolutely necessary.
In addition, everything we know about delirium shows how the risk drops dramatically when patients are comfortable and oriented.
You can't get that from a pill.
That requires time and effort from hospital staff, including doctors and nurses working empathetically with their patients instead of treating them like billing codes.
Obviously, this information won't be of much use if you're in the hospital or ICU, especially if delirium is already sinking in.
So, the time to prepare for this is now.
Talk to your family members about the risks and what to watch for so that they're prepared to step in, speak to doctors, and -- if necessary -- intervene on your behalf to ensure that you get the best care instead of dangerous and unproven drugs.
And make sure they know that you'll do the same for them.