Delirium screening in intensive care: A life saving opportunity
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Lamond, E., Murray, S. & Gibson, C. (2017) Delirium screening in intensive care: A life saving opportunity. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 44, pp. 105-109.
Background Delirium is described as 'acute brain failure' and constitutes a medical emergency which presents a hazard for people cared for in intensive care units. The Scottish intensive care society audit group recommend that all people cared for in intensive care units be screened for signs of delirium so that treatment and management of complications can be implemented at an early stage. Clinical implication There is inconsistent evidence about when and how the assessment of delirium is carried out by nursing staff in the intensive care setting. Aim This narrative review explores the pathophysiology and current practices of delirium screening in intensive care. Consideration is given to the role of the nurse in detecting and managing delirium and some barriers to routine daily delirium screening are critically debated. Conclusion It is argued that routine delirium screening is an essential element of safe, effective and person centred nursing care which has potential to reduce morbidity and mortality.