Delirium: An Emerging Frontier in the Management of Critically Ill Children

Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.
Anesthesiology Clinics 12/2011; 29(4):729-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.anclin.2011.09.011
Source: PubMed


Delirium is a syndrome of acute brain dysfunction that commonly occurs in critically ill adults and most certainly is prevalent in critically ill children all over the world. The dearth of information about the incidence, prevalence, and severity of pediatric delirium stems from the simple fact that there have not been well-validated instruments for routine delirium diagnosis at the bedside. This article reviewed the emerging solutions to this problem, including description of a new pediatric tool called the pCAM-ICU. In adults, delirium is responsible for significant increases in both morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. The advent of new tools for use in critically ill children will allow the epidemiology of this form of acute brain dysfunction to be studied adequately, will allow clinical management algorithms to be developed and implemented following testing, and will present the necessary incorporation of delirium as an outcome measure for future clinical trials in pediatric critical care medicine.

15 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although our understanding of children's psychological outcomes following intensive care lags significantly behind advances in medicine, there is a growing awareness that intensive care admission impacts children beyond the boundaries of physical well-being. Intensive care presents a variety of disease-related, treatment-related, and environment-related stressors that may place children at risk of post-traumatic stress (PTS), particularly as children may have limited resources to understand and cope with aspects of the admission, its consequences, or treatment events. This article summarises the current literature on children's PTS responses following intensive care admission with emphasis on: (1) children's experience of intensive care; (2) the prevalence of PTS in children following intensive care admission; (c) factors associated with vulnerability to PTS; and (d) the role of memory and appraisal in the development of children's PTS. Existing research does have methodological limitations, and future studies utilising larger sample sizes and developmentally appropriate diagnostic measures are warranted. Furthermore, longitudinal studies investigating the aetiology and course of PTS following paediatric intensive care unit admission, particularly with further investigation of memory and cognitive factors, may lead to advances in screening, prevention, and early intervention strategies for children.
    Clinical Psychologist 03/2012; 16(1):1-14. DOI:10.1111/j.1742-9552.2012.00040.x · 0.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pediatric delirium (PD) is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder often seen at the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). The Pediatric Anesthesia Emergence Delirium (PAED) scale assesses five behavioral items on a five-level severity scale, and is easily applicable in children. However, the five-level severity scales are rather arbitrarily anchored and subjective. This study aimed to pilot a practical and clinical improvement of the PAED by condensing the five-level scales of the five behavioral items to a more objectively anchored two- and three-point scale. Post-hoc analysis of routine data in an eight-bed PICU in a tertiary university hospital. 144 critically ill, non-electively admitted patients, aged 1-18 years, were included between November 2006 and February 2010. Scales of the five PAED-items were condensed post-hoc from five to two- and three levels of severity. Five scale properties were analyzed: 1) internal consistency; 2) item-total score correlations; 3) inter-rater agreement; 4) sensitivity and specificity; and 5) discriminative diagnostic ability. Three-level PAED-items post-hoc displayed Cronbach's alpha of 0.86, and mean item-total score correlation was 0.71 (range 0.60 to 0.79). Inter-rater agreement was high (0.90). The most optimal cut-off was 8 (sensitivity=100%, specificity=96.7%) with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.98. Likelihood ratio for a positive test result (LR+) was 30.3. A three-level severity scale for the five PAED-items may be optimal to diagnose PD. Further prospective research is required to determine whether a revised PAED has adequate psychometric properties and is applicable across different clinical settings.
    Minerva anestesiologica 03/2012; 78(8):896-900. · 2.13 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Critically ill children in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) are exposed to multiple physical, environmental and pharmacologic factors which increase the propensity for sleep disruption and loss and may, in turn, play a role in short-term recovery from critical illness and long-term neurocognitive outcomes. Mechanically ventilated children receive sedative and analgesic medications, often at high doses and for long durations, to improve comfort and synchrony with mechanical ventilation. Sedatives and analgesics can decrease slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep. Paradoxically, sedative medication doses are often increased in critically ill children to improve the subjective assessment of sedation and sleep, leading to further agitation and deterioration of sleep quality. The heterogeneity in age and critical illness encountered in the PICU pose several challenges to research on sleep in this setting. The present article reviews the available evidence on sleep in critically ill children admitted to the PICU, with an emphasis on subjective and objective methods of sleep assessment used and special populations studied, including mechanically ventilated children and children with severe burns.
    Sleep Medicine Reviews 05/2013; 18(2). DOI:10.1016/j.smrv.2013.02.002 · 8.51 Impact Factor
Show more