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Archived Comments for: The effect of earplugs during the night on the onset of delirium and sleep perception: a randomized controlled trial in intensive care patients

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  1. A quick thought from a fellow delirium researcher...

    Jiten Patel, University of Manchester

    22 October 2012

    I was fascinated to read that the simple use of earplugs could impact on patient morbidity during Critical Care Unit admission.

    Having said this, the fact that earplugs alone were able to prevent "confusion" in this population is an incredible achievement. However, the inability of this tool to reduce the incidence of "true" delirium may lie in the fact that there are several other deliriogenic factors in the intensive care unit. Furthermore, there are other causes of sleep deprivation in this arena, namely light, immobility and the medications employed. Perhaps a more all-encompassing protocol that addresses both sleep disruptive factors and deliriogenic factors could successfully reduce the incidence of delirium?

    We are nearing the completion of such a study on a mixed Critical Care Unit in the UK, and will report the results in the near future.

    Competing interests