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

ABSTRACT 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.

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