Delirium in Mechanically Ventilated Patients: Let the Natural Light in!

I have great disdain for delirium. Natural light brings me great joy. Today, for example, the sun isn’t shining bright. The day is cloudy and gloomy. I am, in turn, a little grouchy. Daylight savings is coming and I’m already upset about it. I can turn on the light but it won’t be the same. This study was published today (10/18/19). How’s that for so fresh and so clean?

Preventing and treating delirium is something we haven’t quite figured out just yet. But studies like this one help us chip away at that giant piece of rock to eventually present a great sculpture. Bad analogy? Yep! In this study, the authors were curious to see whether patients having natural light would affect the incidence of delirium in patients who are on the ventilator (primary outcome). The secondary outcomes included the “duration of delirium, duration of coma, use of antipsychotics to treat agitation, the incidence of hallucinations, the incidence of self-extubation, duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU and hospital length of stay, ICU and hospital mortality.”

This was a single centered trial with 195 patients. Out of their measured outcomes, they noted that the patients exposed to natural light had a reduced incidence of severe agitation (p=0.04). In addition, the patients exposed to natural light also had fewer hallucinations (p=0.04). Fortunately, this study is free and you can download it and read it yourself. I like natural light. It’s free. It may not ameliorate delirium, but it is another tool in our tool belt to make these patients better. Check out my full post on delirium at

Smonig R, Magalhaes E, Bouadma L, Andremont O, de Montmollin E, Essardy F, Mourvillier B, Lebut J, Dupuis C, Neuville M, Lermuzeaux M, Timsit JF, Sonneville R. Impact of natural light exposure on delirium burden in adult patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation in the ICU: a prospective study. Ann Intensive Care. 2019 Oct 17;9(1):120. doi: 10.1186/s13613-019-0592-x. PMID: 31624936; PMCID: PMC6797676.
Link to Article

How to support my work: my efforts are at no cost to you and I would like to keep it that way. You have to look at ads on this website, listen to them on my podcast and YouTube content. Thanks for bearing with me. You could also support my work by clicking on my Amazon Affiliate links prior to ordering things off of Amazon. For example, if you want to learn more about Mechanical Ventilation, I recommend starting off with The Ventilator Book by Will Owens. If you click on that link, a window for Amazon will open up and I will earn between a 1-3% commission at no expense to you. The fun thing is that if you order anything else on Amazon, I will earn that amount off of your shopping cart even if you do not purchase the book. Pretty cool, right? In 2020, Amazon Affiliates helped me pay for the hosting of my website, LLC fees, and Netflix.

Another way that you can help is by signing up for a FREE trial for Audible by clicking HERE ( If you sign up for a free trial, I will be compensated $15. How’s that for transparency? Not to mention that I personally use Audible and enjoy it so it’s not challenging for me to promote it. You can also cancel your subscription before they bill your credit card if you’re not happy. You will get a free book with your promotion or two free books if you have a Prime membership. Thanks!

Although great care has been taken to ensure that the information in this post is accurate, eddyjoe, LLC shall not be held responsible or in any way liable for the continued accuracy of the information, or for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies, or for any consequences arising therefrom.

delirium light