Nurses should be delirium champions and identify people at risk as early as possible
Delirium is an acute deterioration in mental function that commonly affects older people, but many risk factors can be mitigated, says a delirium nurse
Delirium is one of the most common conditions seen by nurses. It can affect all age groups and cross all specialties. Whether young or old, it is an unpleasant experience.
However, for older, frailer patients delirium can have life-changing consequences, such as a reduction in functional ability, cognitive decline and sometimes admission to long-term care.
Many areas of care are still failing to recognise or are misdiagnosing delirium, particularly in the older population, where symptoms are often considered to be a normal part of ageing or confused with dementia.
Identify people at risk of delirium at an early stage and plan care
In many acute areas delirium is often only identified when a patient...
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