Lynn McNicoll, MD, FRCPC, Department of Internal Medicine, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, RI.
Delirium in older hospitalized persons in non-critical care settings is associated with higher morbidity, mortality, and worse long-term outcomes. Delirium in critically ill persons is a growing field of research. This article presents recent research indicating a high frequency of delirium in critical care. Several studies have shown that delirium in critical care is associated with poor short-term as well as long-term outcomes, including increased length of stay, persistent cognitive deficits, and hospital and one-year mortality. Further research on strategies to prevent delirium in critical care may improve short- and long-term outcomes.
Key words: delirium, critical care, aging, outcomes, older adults.