Early Recognition of Preventable Factors Associated with Delirium Saves Lives and Costs.
Delirium is a complex diagnosis characterized by inattention accompanied by either disorganized thinking or an altered level of consciousness. Delirium affects approximately 15% of older adults in the hospital. Delirium is associated with a 62% greater risk of mortality within 1 year of discharge and a significant increase in health care costs. Although the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health-5 has defined delirium, its characteristics, and has recommended diagnostic tools, one of the greatest challenges has been instituting timely and effective treatments. Effective management of delirium includes nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions simultaneously instituted to control agitation while exploring causation.
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