Information, guidance and tools to help you identify and manage episodes of delirium in older patients.
Delirium is a state of heightened mental confusion that commonly affects older people admitted to hospital. Ninety six percent of cases are experienced by older people. When older people with dementia experience severe illness or trauma such as a hip fracture they are more at risk of delirium.
Delirium causes great distress to patients, families and carers and has potentially serious consequences such as increased likelihood of admission to long term care and increased mortality.
People who have delirium may need to stay longer in hospital or in critical care; have an increased incidence of dementia and have more hospital-acquired complications such as falls and pressure ulcers.
Identifying delirium is an important priority as approximately half of all delirium episodes are potentially reversible. (Healthcare Improvement Scotland, 2013)