Are we ready to monitor for delirium in the intensive care unit?

Critical Care Medicine (Impact Factor: 6.15). 02/2004; 32(1):295-6. DOI: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000099342.97517.62
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Delirium is an acute, reversible disorder of attention and cognition and may be viewed as cerebral dysfunction similar to the failure of any other organ. The development of delirium is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, extended length-of-stay in the intensive care unit and longer time spent sedated and ventilated. Nearly every clinical, pharmacological and environmental factor present and necessary in the ICU setting has the potential to cause delirium. Since all of these factors cannot be removed, it is paramount to increase the awareness amongst health care professionals so as to minimise under-recognition and encourage future research into factors that may improve the long-term outcome for ICU patients. There is a need for user-friendly, validated assessment tools for the intubated and ventilated ICU patient, which can be applied at the time of ICU admission without the need for lengthy psychiatric assessment. Nursing professionals are at the forefront of those who are able to provide holistic care through meaningful conversation and empathetic touch. A 6-month Quality Improvement (QI) project screening patients for signs of delirium provided a foundation for discussion. All patients admitted to ICU for more than 72 h, with a hospital length-of-stay less than 96 h prior to ICU admission were screened. Patients admitted following neurological insults or with pre-existing altered mental state were excluded. The QI project showed the incidence of delirium to be 40% of the total sample (n = 73) in a mixed medical/surgical and elective/emergency patient population.
    Intensive and Critical Care Nursing 09/2004; 20(4):206-13. DOI:10.1016/j.iccn.2004.04.003
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    ABSTRACT: Delirium in the intensive care unit (ICU) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Using an assessment tool has been shown to improve the ability of clinicians in the ICU to detect delirium. The confusion assessment method for the ICU (CAM-ICU) is a validated delirium-screening tool for critically ill intubated patients. The aim of this project was to establish the feasibility of routine delirium screening using the CAM-ICU and to identify the incidence of delirium in a UK critical care unit. Routine CAM-ICU monitoring was implemented in a mixed critical care unit in January 2007 following a two-month educational and promotional campaign. Guidelines for the management of delirium were introduced. During a two-month prospective audit in September and October 2007, the daily CAM-ICU was recorded by the bedside nurse for consecutive level 2 and level 3 patients admitted to the mixed medical/surgical critical care ward in a district general hospital. This was repeated in January 2008. Patient outcome was recorded. The records of an additional cohort of ventilated patients were reviewed retrospectively to determine compliance with routine CAM-ICU assessments. Seventy-one patients were included in the observational cohort, with 60 patients in the retrospective cohort. In the prospective group it was not possible to assess for delirium with the CAM-ICU in nine patients due to persistent coma or inability to understand simple instructions. Excluding elective post-operative patients, the incidence of delirium was 45% in patients who could be assessed; in the 27 ventilated patients who could be assessed it was 63%. From the retrospective data compliance with the CAM-ICU assessment was 92%. The incidence of delirium in this retrospective group of ventilated patients who could be assessed was 65%. We have demonstrated that delirium screening is feasible in a UK ICU population. The high incidence of delirium and the impact on outcomes in this UK cohort of patients is in line with previous reports.
    Critical care (London, England) 03/2009; 13(1):R16. DOI:10.1186/cc7714 · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Delirium is prevalent in surgical and trauma intensive care units (ICUs) and carries substantial morbidity. This study tested the hypothesis that daily administration of a diagnostic instrument for delirium in a surgical/trauma ICU decreases the time of institution of pharmacologic therapy and improves related outcomes. METHODS: Controlled trial of two concurrent groups. The Confusion-Assessment Method for ICU was administered daily to all eligible patients admitted to our surgical/trauma ICU for 48 hours or longer. The result was communicated to one of the two preexisting ICU services (intervention service) and not the other (control service). Primary outcome was the time between diagnosis of delirium and pharmacologic treatment. Secondary outcomes included duration of delirium, mechanical ventilation, and ICU stay. RESULTS: Delirium occurred in 98 (35%) of 283 consecutive patients. Time between diagnosis and therapy did not differ between intervention (35 [35] hours) and control (40 [41] hours) groups. There was a difference in the number of delirium days treated in the intervention (73%) versus control (64%) groups (p = 0.035). The intervention group had significantly lower odds to neglect treating delirium when delirium was present (odds ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.45-1.00; p = 0.05). In the subgroup of trauma patients, the odds ratio of negligence was 0.37 (95% confidence interval, 0.14-0.99; p = 0.048), indicating lower probability for trauma patients to be untreated. There was no difference in the average duration of delirium, mechanical ventilation, and ICU stay. CONCLUSION: In our surgical/trauma ICU, daily screening for delirium did not affect the timing of pharmacologic therapy. Although the intervention resulted in a higher number of delirious ICU patients being treated, particularly trauma patients, there was no effect on related outcomes. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, level IV.
    03/2013; 74(3):876-883. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e31827e1b69