Delirium in the ICU: An Overview
Delirium is defined as a disturbance of consciousness with inattention accompanied by a change in cognition or perceptual disturbance that develops over a short period of time (hours to days) and fluctuates over time [The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV)]. Up to 80% of mechanically ventilated ICU patients develop delirium and it is associated with many negative outcomes such as increased lengths of stay, decreased survival and increased cognitive dysfunction. The three motoric subtypes of delirium are hyperactive (often called ICU Psychosis), hypoactive (also called quiet delirium), and mixed (fluctuation between hypo and hyper). Below are links to more information regarding delirium etiology, associated outcomes, monitoring and management.