From study days one to 12, patients treated with dexmedetomidine experienced a median of seven days with and interquartile range (IQR) of one to 10 delirium-free and coma-free days compared with three days (IQR one to six) for lorazepam patients (p=0.01). Eighty-seven per cent of patients treated with dexmedetomidine experienced delirium or coma at some point in the 12-day assessment period compared with 98% in the lorazepam group (p=0.03).
Patients treated with dexmedetomidine were at or within one RASS point of the nurse's stated sedation goal for a median of 80% (IQR 58% to 100%) of the time while on study drugs compared to 67% (IQR 48% to 83%) for those treated with Lorazepam (p=0.04). For the physician's goal, the associated results were 67% (IQR 50% to 85%) for dexmedetomidine patients and 55% (IQR 8% to 67%) for lorazepam patients (p=0.008).
The 28-day mortality in the dexmedetomidine group was 17% versus 27% in the lorazepam group (p=0.18). The 12-month time to death was 363 in the dexmedetomidine group versus 188 days in the lorazepam group (p=0.48).
Median drug costs were $4,675 in the dexmedetomidine group and $2,335 in the lorazepam group. In the dexmedetomidine group, median costs were $27,460 (IQR $15,710 to $46,430) for pharmacy, $3,530 (IQR $2,170 to $6,940) for respiratory care, $61,400 (IQR $37,300 to $108,200) for intensive care unit costs and $101,400 for hospital costs. In the Lorazepam group, median costs were $20,660 (IQR $9,840 to $42,270) for pharmacy, $2,920 (IQR $2,070 to $5,830) for respiratory care, $59,500 (IQR $35,900 to $83,000) for intensive care unit costs and $78,900 (IQR $44,000 to $124,600) for hospital costs. All p values were non-significant for the care costs.