Clinical update

Delirium

Read our clinical update on an RCN campaign to help nurses spot the signs of delirium.

Essential facts

Delirium is a state of heightened mental confusion that mainly affects older people. The serious condition typically develops over one to two days and is associated with poor outcomes. People who have delirium have increased risk of needing long-term care and developing more hospital-acquired complications such as falls and pressure ulcers. It is also associated with higher mortality rates. However it can often be prevented and treated if dealt with urgently.

What’s new

The RCN has launched a drive to help nurses spot the signs of delirium in order to improve care and save lives. Delirium champions will educate colleagues on the signs and symptoms to look out for and encourage early diagnosis. It is aimed at nursing staff in the community and care homes to try and prevent people becoming seriously unwell and needing hospital care.

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