The dangers of delirium
Patient safety is an important part when it comes to nursing care. Nursing intervention can be done prior to help better patient outcomes. For example, patient’s that are treated in intensive care units need interventions that will provide safety before and after care. These patients are heavily sedated and on ventilators are particularly likely to become delirious; some studies place the rate as high as 85 percent. Delirium is basically inattention and confusion that represents the brain temporarily failing. A person who is delirious is unable to think clearly and can’t make sense of what is going on around him. But the condition is common among patients recovering from surgery and in those with something as easily treated as a urinary tract infection.
Regardless of its cause, delirium increases the risk of longer stays in the hospital, higher cost of care, can persist for months after discharge, more long-term cognitive impairment up to one year later and even death. Therefore it is important to provided safe care before and after treatment. Researchers estimate that about 40 percent of delirium cases are preventable. Many cases are triggered by the care patients receive like Mechanical ventilation is well known to cause ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and other nosocomial infections. Another example includes large doses of anti-anxiety drugs and narcotics or the environments of hospitals themselves, such as, a busy, noisy, brightly lit place where sleep is constantly disrupted and staff changes frequently. Overall there is evidence based support for getting patients off of ventilators and sedation, as quickly and safely as possible. Also, non-drug interventions, which included making sure patients’ sleep-wake cycles were preserved, that they had their eyeglasses and hearing aids and that were not dehydrated.
The Washington Post: Health and Science- “The perils of delirium” (2015). Retrieved on September 21, 2015 from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-perils-of-delirium/2015/06/01/0f263996-ed22-11e4-8666-a1d756d0218e_story.html