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Delirium Tremens after being hospitalized for another issue

65 yr old male fell and fractured a rib and had a slight case of pneumonia.  Went to the ER 12 days ago.  Long history of moderate to heavy drinking, but has a job and does daily tasks.  On  2nd day in hospital sent to ICU and put on a vent going through detox.  steady IV drip removed and now ativan is given every 4 hours as needed.  Day 12 still on vent, still showing signs of agitation at times, how long will this last?  2 weeks on a vent, restrained to a bed.  Anyone have similar experiences or can offer an medical advise.  I thought things would improve after 10 days, off vent, able to communicate, but it seems their has been very little improvement.
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Avatar universal
This is my personal take, and I'm not a doctor, just a 66 year old recovering alcoholic who's heard quite a bit at AA tables over the years...

I trust the doctors know about the drinking history? If they don't know the complete and honest detailed history, it's imperative that they do know as soon as possible. Not to worry. Medical records are completely private.

If the drinker is a maintenance drinker (needs a drink in the morning, keeps on a low alcohol schedule all day until after work and then drinks heavily) I would say there would still be some DT problems after going two weeks without alcohol, but not much by then. I think the Ativan  calms more than agitates. Being a Benzo, It uses the Gaba receptors just like alcohol does.

If the person you're referring to wants to quit drinking, we're here and will be more than happy to support them in their path to sobriety and healthy living.
Avatar universal
Hi thanks, no he's not a maintenance drinker.  and drs know history. From what I have read it seems about 5 - 10 days is average for dts.  I was expecting him to be off the vent, able to communicate by day 10.  I know they have decreased his meds (Ativan) slightly, but you would think after about 12 days agitation symptoms would really be decreased and he could be taken off vent.  My biggest concern is that their doesn't seem to be much improvement at this point.
Avatar universal
Only the doctors with his charts know the answers, but I can understand your concern. From my standpoint, the hope is: the longer he's away from that next drink the more he might like life without it.

Keep us posted.
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