>ED Rounds – Delirium in the ED

Delirium in the ED: How can we help?

Presented by: Dr Cherie-Lee Adams

 


Incidence of Delirium

  • 40% admitted patients >65yo
  • 10-20% on admission
  • 5-10% more during admission

Increased Risk of Delirium:

  • Male
  • >60yo, more prevalent >80yo
  • Hearing/visual impairment
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Functional dependence
  • Polypharmacy
  • Major medical/surgical illness


DSM-V Criteria

  • A) Disturbance in attention and awareness
  • B) Disturbance is ACUTE
  • C) Concurrent cognitive impairment
  • D) Not evolving dementia, nor coma
  • E) Can be explained by Hx/Px/Ix

 


 

Non – Pharmacological Approach

  • Nutritional support
  • Optimize hearing/sight
  • Maximize day/night/date/time cues
  • Minimize pain
  • Rehabilitate- ambulate, encourage self-care
  • Avoid restraints

Pharmacological Options

  • Treat only if distress/agitated/safety concern
      • don’t treat hypoactive delirium, wandering, or prophylactically
  • monotherapy
  • low dose
  • short course
  • Benzos- reserve for withdrawal
  • APs
        • Haldol 0.25-0.5mg
        • risperidone 0.25mg od-bid
        • olanzapine 1.25-2.5mg/d
        • quetiapine 12.5-50mg/d

 

Take Home Points

  • Delirium is common, esp in elderly
  • Significant morbidity/mortality associated
  • Brief screening with DTS/bCAM works
  • Intervention focus on limiting pathology, normalizing activities, minimizing drugs
  • Low dose APs for short period for agitation

 


 

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