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JCOM Abstract


J Clin Outcomes Manage 
2010 Oct;17(10):459-468
Strategies to improve delirium assessment practices in the intensive care unit
Banerjee A, Vasilevskis EE, Pandharipande P

Abstract Objective: To present the strategies available for assessing delirium in the intensive care unit (ICU) and guidelines for implementation of these strategies. Methods: Review of the literature. Results: Delirium or acute brain dysfunction is a condition that commonly occurs in ICU patients. Delirium in the ICU is associated with morbidity, longer hospitalization, and higher costs. More alarmingly, delirium independently predicts higher mortality in critically ill patients and has been shown to be associated with prolonged cognitive impairment in ICU survivors. The Society of Critical Care Medicine recommends routine monitoring for delirium in all ICU patients. Numerous national and international surveys have highlighted the importance of recognizing delirium in the ICU. Recently, a number of validated assessment tools have become available that can be used to screen for delirium and may lead to improved patient care. Conclusion: Delirium is a complication of critical illness. Although, the pathophysiology of delirium is not understood, many of the causes of delirium can be modified. Hence, it is essential that health care providers are able to diagnose this condition using one of the validated assessment tools that are available.

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