Revista Brasileira de Terapia Intensiva
Print version ISSN 0103-507X
PITROWSKY, Melissa Tassano et al. The importance of delirium monitoring in the intensive care unit. Rev. bras. ter. intensiva [online]. 2010, vol.22, n.3, pp. 274-279. ISSN 0103-507X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-507X2010000300010.
Delirium is an acute confusional state associated with increased mortality in the intensive care unit and long-term impaired functional recovery. Despite its elevated incidence and major impact in the outcomes of critically ill patients, delirium remains under-diagnosed. Presently, there are validated instruments to diagnose and monitor delirium, allowing the detection of early organ dysfunction and treatment initiation. Beyond patient's non-modifiable risk factors, there are modifiable clinical and environmental aspects that should be accessed to reduce the occurrence and severity of delirium. As recent studies demonstrate that interventions aiming to reduce sedative exposure and to improve patients' orientation associated with early mobility have proved to reduce delirium, a low incidence of delirium should be targeted and considered as a measure of quality of care in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Keywords : Delirium; Confusion; Septic encephalopathy; Intensive care units.