The topic of delirium is nothing new to the nursing world… in fact I have had my fair share of pts suffering from delirium or new onset confusion. Unlike dementia, delirium is typically an acute chane that may be reversed when the underlying problem is corrected. ICU delirium is actually a new topic for me. Still keeping with the traditional definition, this acute change in mental status seems to affect pts that are sedated in the ICU while on a ventilator. There is more recent research available on this topic, as it is still being explored and discovered. It appears that after sedation is stopped and the pt is able to live in reality, the delirium may be reversed, but some emotional trauma
remains. I found a recent peer reviewed article that details the main streamed assessment tool for ICU delirium. This tool is called CAM-ICU, or Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit. This article outlines an educational plan among people who are administering the test and utilizing the tool to ensure they are recording data accurately. It was found that after the educational plan was implemented, less “unable to assess” ratings were recored and pts were able to receive a more appropriate grade. As with most things in the medical world, the more knowledge medical professionals have the more meaningful outcomes pts may have. Proper education for this assessment tool is instrumental in screening pts for delirium and reversing this confusion before mental health complications occur. A copy of the CAM-ICU Assessment Worksheet is provided for review.
SWAN, J. DECREASING INAPPROPRIATE UNABLE-TO-ASSESS RATINGS FOR THE CONFUSION ASSESSMENT METHOD FOR THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT. American Journal of Critical Care. 23, 1, 60-69, 2014. ISSN: 1062-3264.