Journal scan

Nurses should be aware of patients who have one or more risk factors for incident delirium

Delirium study highlights the need for nurses to have an understanding of patient history to identify risk factors associated with the condition.

Delirium is a disturbance of attention and cognition that cannot be explained by a pre-existing neurocognitive disorder.

It can have serious consequences including falls, increased mortality, longer hospital stay and increased risk of long-term cognitive impairment.

Delirium may be present on admission to hospital but, where it is not, nurses need to identify people at risk.

Multifactorial

Delirium is a complex syndrome that may be due to the interaction of physiological illness and pre-existing risk factors. Various theories, including reduced blood flow due to ageing, dysfunction of metabolism in the brain, cholinergic deficiency and overreaction of the body’s natural stress response, have attempted to explain the physiological process, but the actual neurological process remains unclear. In older people, the cause is usually multifactorial.

This study looked at the case

...

Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Older People
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs