Harm caused by nicotine withdrawal during intensive care

Apr 09, 2010

Nicotine withdrawal can cause dangerous agitation in intensive care patients. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care found that, compared to non-smokers, agitated smokers were more likely to accidentally remove tubes and catheters, require supplemental sedative, analgesic or anti-psychotic medications, or need physical restraints.

Damien du Cheyron, from Caen University Hospital, France, worked with a team of researchers to study the effects of nicotine withdrawal in 44 smokers and 100 non-smokers in the hospital's , finding that agitation was twice as common in smokers than controls. He said, "Agitation was significantly more common in smokers than in non-smokers. These results suggest the need to be aware of nicotine withdrawal syndrome in critically ill patients, and support the need for improved strategies to prevent agitation or treat it earlier".

None of the in the study were allowed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) during the study period. According to du Cheyron, "NRT remains a controversial topic in intensive care and has been associated with mortality. Due to the serious consequences of withdrawal-induced agitation, including sedation and physical restraint, we suggest that the use of should be tested by a well-designed, randomized controlled clinical trial in the ICU setting".

Explore further: Rising role seen for health education specialists

More information: The effect of carbon dioxide on near-death experiences in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors: a prospective observational study, Zalika Klemenc-Ketis, Janko Kersnik and Stefek Grmec, Critical Care (in press)

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JerryPark
5 / 5 (2) Apr 09, 2010
'None of the smokers in the study were allowed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) during the study period. According to du Cheyron, "NRT remains a controversial topic in intensive care ...'

Refusal to treat nicotine addiction does not arise from a medical perspective. It arises from the physicians' biases. In any other addiction, treatment is routine. For example, benzodiazepines are routinely prescribed to patients who are even suspected of being addicted to alcohol.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2010
Of course only in France would this study even be allowed. Most other medical professionals are far to biased in their assumptions.
otto1923
not rated yet Apr 09, 2010
People who allow themselves to become entrapped in debilitating addictions, and the resulting weakness leaves them vulnerable in life-threatening situations... I am picturing fat corpses floating in New Orleans floodwaters, choking smokers trapped in collapsed buildings or unable to outrun pursuers... and all those lying in hospital beds waiting to die; too late for regrets. Weakness is its own reward, the constant reminder of self-betrayal, the guilt.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 09, 2010
I certainly hope you don't drink coffee, tea or soda in that case. Cafinated beverages have the same effect.
otto1923
not rated yet Apr 09, 2010
I certainly hope you don't drink coffee, tea or soda in that case. Cafinated beverages have the same effect.
As nicotene withdrawal? Not even close SH. Smokers cant even get a good nights sleep. Withdrawal symptoms persist for months and the craving is said to be worse than cocaine. Smokers are tricked into breathing dirt into their lungs every 1/2 hour or so- how powerful is that?
Royale
not rated yet Apr 09, 2010
and paper. since i recently quit smoking the thought is even more disgusting and have been in an ICU before for a 5 day stretch, they automatically gave me NRT when I told them I wanted a cig. Of course since it was a waking coma I didnt have a chance to ask until day 3 or 4, but in the US i don't think it's controversial. they'd rather give you a patch then have you running outside for a smoke.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 09, 2010
I certainly hope you don't drink coffee, tea or soda in that case. Cafinated beverages have the same effect.
As nicotene withdrawal? Not even close SH. Smokers cant even get a good nights sleep. Withdrawal symptoms persist for months and the craving is said to be worse than cocaine. Smokers are tricked into breathing dirt into their lungs every 1/2 hour or so- how powerful is that?

That's a matter of in what framework. When it comes to ICU recovery the affect manifests in the exact same way.
otto1923
not rated yet Apr 09, 2010
I certainly hope you don't drink coffee, tea or soda in that case. Cafinated beverages have the same effect.
As nicotene withdrawal? Not even close SH. Smokers cant even get a good nights sleep. Withdrawal symptoms persist for months and the craving is said to be worse than cocaine. Smokers are tricked into breathing dirt into their lungs every 1/2 hour or so- how powerful is that?

That's a matter of in what framework. When it comes to ICU recovery the affect manifests in the exact same way.

Source?
Parsec
not rated yet Apr 09, 2010
I certainly hope you don't drink coffee, tea or soda in that case. Cafinated beverages have the same effect.
As nicotene withdrawal? Not even close SH. Smokers cant even get a good nights sleep. Withdrawal symptoms persist for months and the craving is said to be worse than cocaine. Smokers are tricked into breathing dirt into their lungs every 1/2 hour or so- how powerful is that?


I am unsure of your source regarding the time that withdrawal lasts. I quit a 4 pack a day habit without NRT and my withdrawal symptoms lasted no longer than 6 weeks or so. Of course I continued to cough up crap for a coupla years...
otto1923
not rated yet Apr 11, 2010
Source:
http://www.scienc...1106.htm
-This isn't the exact article but I remember the description of symptoms returning unexpectedly- I think it's the same study. I specifically remember the time period being a year, whereas this article describes it as months. As neurological damage is permanent, the urge to smoke could recur the rest of your life. I did just see that in another scidaily article.

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