Hospital Delirium: What Caregivers Should Know & Can Do (2022)

Hospital Delirium: What Caregivers Should Know & Can Do (1)

“How should delirium be managed in the hospital?”

This question came up during a Q & A session, as we were discussing the Choosing Wisely recommendation to avoid tying down older adults who become confused during a hospitalization.

Delirium is a common and very important problem for all older adults in the hospital. It doesn’t just happen to people with Alzheimer’s or a dementia diagnosis. (And, it’s not the same thing.)

But many family caregivers have hardly heard of hospital delirium. This is too bad, since there’s a lot that family caregivers can do to prevent this serious complication, or at least prevent an older loved one from being physically restrainedif delirium does occur.

(Video) Delirium: A Guide for Caregivers

In this post, I’ll review what older adults and families absolutely should know about hospital delirium. And, we’ll cover some of the things you can do if it happens to your loved one.

Why hospital delirium is so important to know about

Deliriumis a state of worse-than-usual mental function, brought on by illness or some kind of stress on the body or mind.

Although people with dementia are especially prone to develop delirium, delirium can and does affect many aging adults who don’t have Alzheimer’s or another dementia diagnosis. Here are some facts that all older adults and family caregivers should know:

  • Delirium is very common during hospitalization. Delirium can affect up to half of older patients in a hospital. Risk factors include having pre-existing dementia and undergoing surgery. Having had delirium in the past is also a strong risk factor.
  • Delirium is strongly associated with worse health outcomes.Short-term problems linked to delirium include falls and longer hospital stays. Longer-term consequences can include speeding up cognitive decline, and a higher chance of dying within the following year.
  • Delirium is often missed by hospital staff. Busy hospital staff may not realize that an older person is more confused than usual, especially if the delirium is of the “quiet” type. (Although many people are restless when delirious, it’s also common for people to become quiet and “spaced out.”)
  • Delirium is multifactorial. There often isn’t a single cause for delirium. Instead, it tends to happen due to a combination of triggers (illness, pain, medication side-effects) and risk factors (dementia, or pre-dementia). This means that treatment — and prevention — often require a multi-pronged approach.

To summarize, delirium is common, serious, and often missed by hospital staff.

Fortunately, there’s a lot that you can do as a family caregiver. In particular, you can help your loved one more safely get through a hospitalization by:

(Video) Quality Standard for Delirium Care: How Can I Help?

  • Taking steps to prevent delirium;
  • Keeping an eye out for any new or worse-than-usual mental states that might signal delirium;
  • Making sure hospital staff address the problem if it does happen;
  • Questioning things if the hospital resorts to tying a person down, before all other options have been tried. (This last one is a Choosing Wisely recommendation.)

How to prevent hospital delirium

Now, not all hospital delirium can be prevented. Some people are very sick, or very prone to delirium, and it’s certainly possible to develop delirium even when all triggers and risk factors have been addressed. Furthermore, many older adults are already delirious when they first get hospitalized.

Still, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of a bad delirium. Experts estimate that about 40% of delirium cases are preventable.

The ideal is to be hospitalized in a facility that has already set up a multi-disciplinary delirium prevention approach, such as the Hospital Elder Life Program. Other hospitals have Acute Care for Elders units (also called “ACE” units) which also provide a special environment meant to minimize the hospital stressors that can tip an older person into delirium.

For elective surgeries, such as joint replacements, look for a hospital that has set up a geriatric co-management program for orthopedics, such as this one.

Here are some specific interventions that help reduce delirium, and how you can help as a caregiver:

(Video) Delirium: A Guide for Caregivers (Russian)

  • Minimize sleep deprivation. Consider asking the nurses if it’s possible to avoid blood pressure checks in the middle of the night. A quieter room can help. Do NOT ask for sleeping pills, however! Even a mild sedative, such as diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl) increases the risk of developing delirium. Sleeping pills can also make delirium worse in someone who is already affected.
  • Minimize vision and hearing impairments. Make sure the older person has glasses and hearing aids available, if they usually need them.
  • Provide familiar objects and reassuring companionship.A few family photos can bring some soothing cheer to an older person’s hospital stay. Family or friends at bedside are also often very helpful, especially since they can help gently reorient an older person to where he is, and what’s been going on.
  • Avoid overwhelming or overstimulating the person. Try to minimize mental strain or emotional stress for the person. A calm reassuring presence is ideal. If you need to give instructions or discuss something, try to keep things simple.
  • Encourage physical activity and mobilization. Although many older people are sick or weak while in the hospital, it’s important to encourage safe activity as soon as possible. Physical therapy and minimizing bladder catheters (which can tether an older person to the bed) can help.
  • Avoid sedatives and tranquilizers.Especially if the older person is restless or having difficulty sleeping, it’s not uncommon for sedatives such as diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl) to be prescribed. But these can increase the risk of delirium, and should be avoided. So instead, try non-drug relaxation therapies such as soothing music, massage, a cup of tea, and familiar companionship.
  • Minimize pain and discomforts.Ask the older person if he or she feels bothered by pain or constipation. If so, bring it up to the doctors. It’s not uncommon for pain to go inadequately treated unless family caregivers help an older patient bring it to the doctors’ attention.

For more useful ideas, see this family tip sheet from the Hospital Elder Life Program.

If you think your loved one has developed delirium, make sure the doctors and nurses know about it. You may want to ask them what their plan is for evaluating and managing it. This will help you stay up-to-speed on the hospital course.

Some hospitals may even interview families to help diagnose delirium, using something called the FAM-CAM (short for Family Confusion Assessment Method) tool. The Confusion Assessment Method is generally considered the gold standard for diagnosing delirium.

How hospital delirium is treated

To treat delirium, here’s what the doctors and nurses usually do:

  • Identify and reverse as many triggers as possible. Remember, delirium is often multi-factorial. So even if there is a urinary tract infection that seems to have brought it on, the hospital team should try to spot any other factors that could be contributing (such as a medication side-effect, or a lack of glasses).
  • Provide supportive care.It’s especially important to provide a calm restorative environment when a person is suffering from delirium. People may do better if they can avoid frequent room changes, and if they have a window allowing orientation to daylight.
  • Prevent injury and manage difficult behaviors.This can be very challenging in those patients who become restless when delirious.Some hospitals have special “delirium rooms,” in which trained staff provide non-drug management of disoriented patients. As a last resort, the doctors do sometimes use low doses of medication. Research suggests that a small dose of antipsychotic, such as Haldol, is generally better than using a benzodiazepine (such as Ativan) which is more likely to make an older person’s confusion worse.

What you can do if an older person becomes delirious in the hospital

It can be scary to see an older person confused in the hospital, especially if you know that delirium can have serious consequences.

(Video) Delirium in Older Adults (Ask The Geriatrician)

First and foremost, try not to panic. It’s time to hope for the best. Focus on doing what you can to help the delirium resolve.

As a family caregiver, you can play a very important role in providing a supportive and reassuring presence during an older person’s delirium. You can also:

  • Advocate for minimum disruptions, and a quieter more pleasant room if possible.
  • Make sure glasses and hearing aids are available, if needed.
  • Help your loved one speak up if you think pain or constipation may be a problem.
  • Question things if the hospital staff want to physically restrain the older person in bed. (This is a Choosing Wisely recommendation.) In many cases, if a person is dangerously restless, it’s better to start by trying a low dose of anti-psychotic, as mentioned above. Physically restraining a person often increases agitation and can lead to injury.

If you are of the really vigilant and proactive type, you may want to double-check that your loved one isn’t getting any sedatives or anticholinergic medications that make confusion worse. Even though these medications are risky for hospitalized older adults, it’s not uncommon for them to be prescribed!

What to expect after delirium: Even whenall the right things are done — including getting the person home to a restful familiar environment — it often still takes a while for delirium to get better. In fact, it’s pretty common for it to take weeks — or even months — for delirium to completely resolve in an older adult. In some cases, the person never recovers back to their prior normal.

For more on delirium, see:

(Video) Dementia and Hospital Delirium

  • 10 Things to Know About Delirium (includes information on delirium vs. dementia)
  • Delirium: How Caregivers Can Protect People With Alzheimer’s(includes a list of helpful online resources that I’ve reviewed)
  • A Common Problem That Speeds Alzheimer’s Decline, and How to Avoid It

You can also listen to our podcast episode, featuring leading delirium researcher Dr. Sharon Inouye, the founder of the Hospital Elder Life Program:

This article was first published in 2014, and was last updated by Dr. K in March 2022. As we are now at 200+ comments, the comments section has been closed to new comments. Thank you!


Hospital Delirium: What Caregivers Should Know & Can Do? ›

As a family caregiver, you can play a very important role in providing a supportive and reassuring presence during an older person's delirium. You can also: Advocate for minimum disruptions, and a quieter more pleasant room if possible. Make sure glasses and hearing aids are available, if needed.

How do you help someone recover from hospital delirium? ›

When caring for a person with delirium It is important to? ›

Keep visitors restricted to family members or close friends to reduce confusion. Maintain a regular day and night schedule. During the day, open blinds and windows or keep the lights on to encourage your loved one to stay awake and alert. During the night, dim the lights and keep noise levels low to encourage sleep.

What care strategies need to be addressed for delirium? ›

Preventing and managing delirium
  1. Key messages.
  2. Communicate clearly and address sensory impairment.
  3. Minimise the patient's confusion.
  4. Encourage mobility and self-care.
  5. Optimise nutrition, hydration and regular continence.
  6. Minimise risk of injury and agitation.
  7. Minimise use of antipsychotic medications.
Oct 5, 2015

How do hospitals manage delirium? ›

Interventions that have been shown to reduce the incidence of delirium in at-risk hospitalized patients include repeated reorientation of the patient to person and place, promotion of good sleep hygiene, early mobilization, correction of dehydration, and the minimization of unnecessary noise and stimuli.

How do you talk to a delirious person? ›

What I learned today: How to care for someone with delirium
  1. Surround them with familiar objects and people. ...
  2. A clock provides visual stimulus and helps them keep track. ...
  3. Speak in short, clear, simple sentences. ...
  4. Explain, explain, explain. ...
  5. Check that they've heard and understood. ...
  6. Answer each time as if it's the first.
Dec 25, 2020

How do you communicate with delirium? ›

Try to address the patient directly, even if his or her cognitive capacity is diminished. Gain the person's attention. Sit in front of and at the same level as him or her and maintain eye contact. Speak distinctly and at a natural rate of speed.

What is the most helpful treatment for delirium? ›

Although haloperidol is considered as the most preferred agent in the management of delirium, but if elderly patients with Parkinson's disease or Lewy Body Dementia, develop delirium, atypical antipsychotics are considered as the preferred agents by a few authors.

How do you handle a delirious patient? ›

Coping and support
  1. Provide a calm, quiet environment.
  2. Keep inside lighting appropriate for the time of day.
  3. Plan for uninterrupted periods of sleep at night.
  4. Help the person keep a regular daytime schedule.
  5. Encourage self-care and activity during the day.
Sep 1, 2020

What can stop delirium? ›

A healthcare provider may prescribe antipsychotic drugs, which treat agitation and hallucinations and improve sensory issues. Antipsychotic drugs include: Haloperidol (Haldol®). Risperidone (Risperdal®).

How can I help someone with ICU delirium? ›

There are ways you can try to help a patient with delirium, such as: holding their hand, and reassuring them. telling them often that they are in hospital and they are safe. talking with them. If the patient is sedated, and you are not sure what to talk about, try reading a favourite book or a newspaper to them.

How long can hospital delirium last? ›

In fact, it's pretty common for it to take weeks — or even months — for delirium to completely resolve in an older adult. In some cases, the person never recovers back to their prior normal. For more on delirium, see: 10 Things to Know About Delirium (includes information on delirium vs.

What are the 3 types of delirium? ›

Experts have identified three types of delirium:
  • Hyperactive delirium. Probably the most easily recognized type, this may include restlessness (for example, pacing), agitation, rapid mood changes or hallucinations, and refusal to cooperate with care.
  • Hypoactive delirium. ...
  • Mixed delirium.
Sep 1, 2020

What is the first line treatment for delirium? ›

Antipsychotics are commonly used as first-line medication in order to confront these situations, although the evidence for their use to treat delirium in non-ICU or ICU settings is limited [1, 2].

Which is the priority nursing intervention for the management of delirium? ›

Nursing interventions for patients with delirium include the following: Assess level of anxiety. Assess client's level of anxiety and behaviors that indicate the anxiety is increasing; recognizing these behaviors, nurse may be able to intervene before violence occurs. Provide an appropriate environment.

What are the stages of delirium? ›

Healthcare professionals divide delirium into three types based on the other symptoms that someone has. These three types are hyperactive, hypoactive and mixed delirium. Among older people, including those with dementia, hypoactive and mixed delirium are more common.

How long can hospital delirium last? ›

In fact, it's pretty common for it to take weeks — or even months — for delirium to completely resolve in an older adult. In some cases, the person never recovers back to their prior normal. For more on delirium, see: 10 Things to Know About Delirium (includes information on delirium vs.

Can you be discharged from hospital with delirium? ›

Patients discharged with delirium represent a particularly high-risk group. Hospital discharge has been recognized as a high-risk transition period. In previous studies, 49% of older patients experienced at least 1 medical error during transitions from the hospital,16,17 and 13% to 25% had serious complications.

What is the usual duration of delirium? ›

Delirium may last only a few hours or as long as several weeks or months. If issues contributing to delirium are addressed, the recovery time is often shorter. The degree of recovery depends to some extent on the health and mental status before the onset of delirium.

How long does post operative delirium last? ›

Most cases of delirium last a week or less, with symptoms that gradually decline as the patient recovers from surgery. However, the condition can last for weeks or months in patients with underlying memory or cognitive challenges such as dementia, vision, or hearing impairment, or a history of post-operative delirium.

What are the stages of delirium? ›

Healthcare professionals divide delirium into three types based on the other symptoms that someone has. These three types are hyperactive, hypoactive and mixed delirium. Among older people, including those with dementia, hypoactive and mixed delirium are more common.

What does delirium do to the brain? ›

Delirium is an abrupt change in the brain that causes mental confusion and emotional disruption. It makes it difficult to think, remember, sleep, pay attention, and more. You might experience delirium during alcohol withdrawal, after surgery, or with dementia.

Can delirium cause permanent brain damage? ›

We now know delirium can cause permanent damage to the brain. Some sufferers never return to normal. We also know that Alzheimer's disease progresses more rapidly when sufferers get delirium.

Delirium is a serious problem for hospitalized patients. Find out why delirium happens, how it is diagnosed, the treatment for delirium, and more.

David Sacks / Getty Images. While anyone can develop delirium, certain groups are much more likely to develop delirium in the hospital.. Age plays a role, but the severity of the current illness, the patient’s normal level of day to day function and the overall health of the patient play a part as well.. Age 65 years or older Cognitive impairment , which includes difficulties with memory, concentration, and orientation Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia Severe illness or multiple illnesses Depression Impairment of hearing or vision Multiple medications Medications such as benzodiazepines, anticholinergics, antihistamines, or antipsychotics Electrolyte abnormalities, such as too much or too little sodium Pain that isn’t well controlled Restraints or other things that interfere with movement, such as catheters Too little oxygen or too much carbon dioxide Sleep deprivation Surgery Anesthesia Dehydration Anemia Alcohol abuse Withdrawal from alcohol or other addictive substances. Intensive care units , in particular, are very disruptive to normal sleep/wake cycles, as the patients are experiencing frequent monitoring, frequent medications, are routinely being turned, are receiving more medications , and are often in rooms that are brightly lit around the clock.. Before a patient begins to show signs of delirium, there is an earlier phase that patients can experience for hours or even days prior.. Spotting these signs early can mean earlier intervention and potentially preventing the patient from experiencing full-blown delirium in the coming days.. It must be diagnosed by observing the behavior of the patient and determining if their behavior fits the diagnosis of delirium.. Diagnosing delirium can be a challenge as it can be very different from patient to patient.. For example, a patient with delirium may believe that the nurse is trying to assassinate them.. A person who suddenly starts fidgeting doesn’t necessarily have delirium, but a patient who cannot sit still, cannot speak coherently, is seeing things that aren’t there, and is uncharacteristically sleepy during the day might.. Delirium is seen more frequently in surgery patients than the general population of the hospital for multiple reasons.. These patients tend to be sicker than average, they receive anesthesia medications that can contribute to delirium, they may be in the hospital longer, and they may receive pain medications and other drugs that can worsen delirium.. Aside from helping a patient obtain the quality sleep that they desperately need, patients with delirium will also need support taking care of the basic and essential needs that they cannot manage while ill.. When a patient has delirium, it is important that the staff of the hospital (as well as family and friends who may visit) help to provide the patient with the essentials that they need most.. It is also important not to wake the patient when they are sleeping unless it is absolutely essential, and staff may choose to omit a vital sign check or a middle of the night medication that can wait until morning if it means allowing the patient to sleep.

Scientists are testing approaches to help prevent delirium in hospitalized older adults.

Three NIA-supported clinical trials showed that using less anesthesia did not reduce or prevent delirium in older adults undergoing surgery.. The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), developed by Sharon Inouye, M.D., a professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Aging Brain Center at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Boston, has been shown to lower the incidence of delirium by 40% in hospitalized older adults and reduce the likelihood of cognitive and functional decline, as well as to reduce hospital length of stay and reduce falls.. Developed with NIA support, both HELP and the ABCDEF Bundle emphasize coordinated care by the surgical team, postoperative nurses, and patients’ family members to help prevent delirium or, if it occurs, to minimize symptoms.. Inouye noted that delirium is a leading risk factor for falls, so “preventing delirium is a key way to prevent falls in the hospital.”. As a result, doctors might adjust medications or ask a geriatrician to assess a patient for delirium after surgery.

Delirium is best described as a disturbance which results to cognitive deficits. Nursing Diagnosis for Delirium

However, forced interaction can make the patient agitated or hostile due to confusion.Allow the patient to display abnormal behavior within acceptable limits and while maintaining patient safety .To prevent agitation and increase the sense of security while allowing the patient to perform activities that are difficult to stop for him/her.. Patients with mental health problems such as having delirium may not take medications correctly, or at all, so it is crucial for the nurse or caregiver to ensure that the patient has swallowed the oral medication completely.Create an environment that is calm, quiet, well-lit, and conducive to effective communication.Having an environment that is free from disturbing stimuli helps in preventing confusion or hallucination in a patient with delirium.Speak slowly, keep voice in low volume, and use clear and simple words when communicating with the patient.Loud or high-pitched voice may trigger anxiety, agitation, or confusion in a patient with delirium.. Using simple words and speaking clearly can help the patient understand what is being said.Educate the patient on ways to improve verbal communication, such as: Focusing on important activities of daily living and meaningful tasksReplacing irrational thoughts with rational thoughtsPerforming deep breathing exercises and calming techniquesSeeking support from staff, caregiver, family, or other supportive peopleTo gradually help the patient achieve effective cognitive thinking and functional speech.. Avoiding to rush the patient when doing self-care routines or rituals can help prevent mental stress to the patient.Educate the patient’s carer or significant other on providing appropriate assistance to the patient while he/she performs self-care tasks.To provide learning to the carer or significant other and to ensure that the patient has a good amount of support while doing ADLs at home.. Perform comprehensive person-centered assessments and interim assessments on the patient on a regular basis.Assessments should be done at least once every six months to uncover difficulties that will assist the person with delirium in living a complete life.Advise the patient to consider using a calendar or drafting a reminder list.Written reminders can assist the patient in remembering specific actions.Encourage the patient to do supplementary and alternative therapy such as exercise, guided meditation, and massage.These activities can aid in the reduction of stress, which can exacerbate memory loss.. Allowing the patient to expend energy wandering or tinkering with other items (within safe and appropriate boundaries) decreases anxiety and stress while increasing feelings of security.Reward the patient with positive encouragement when the patient behaves within acceptable boundaries.This encourages acceptable behavior and boosts the patient’s self-assurance.Include the patient’s family in the care plan, and let the family know what amount of direction and assistance the patient requires on a daily basis to maintain independence and optimal functioning.Having the patient’s family understand the patient’s care protocols, the reasoning, and how they affect the patient’s overall well-being.. Avoid challenging the patient’s irrational thinking.Challenges to the patient’s thinking can be interpreted as dangerous, leading to a defensive response.Inform all healthcare staff involved with the patient about the patient’s condition, cognition, and behavioral manifestations.Recognize that the patient’s erratic cognition and conduct is a symptom of delirium and should not be misinterpreted as a preference for caregivers.Plan appropriate care to allow for a healthy sleep-wake cycle for the patient.. Patients with nocturnal exacerbations face increased problems from delirium, thus disruptions in regular sleep and activity patterns should be avoided.Assist the family and significant others in the development of coping strategies.The family must allow the patient to do all possible to improve the patient’s level of functioning and quality of life.Educate the family on how to detect early indications of confusion and seek medical treatment.Early intervention helps to avoid long-term consequences.. In a quiet and non-threatening setting, the patient’s sense of stability grows.Accept the patient’s arguments; do not fight or debate.If the patient’s defenses aren’t threatened, the patient may feel safe and secure enough to examine behavior.Encourage the patient to keep track of any anxiety attacks.

Delirium is a serious disturbance in mental abilities that results in confused thinking and reduced awareness of the environment. The start of delirium is usually rapid — within hours or a few days.

Delirium is a serious disturbance in mental abilities that results in confused thinking and reduced awareness of the environment.. The start of delirium is usually rapid — within hours or a few days.. Because symptoms of delirium and dementia can be similar, input from a family member or caregiver may be important for a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.. Signs and symptoms of delirium usually begin over a few hours or a few days.. Experts have identified three types of delirium:. This includes both hyperactive and hypoactive signs and symptoms.. In fact, delirium frequently occurs in people with dementia.. But having episodes of delirium does not always mean a person has dementia.. Some differences between the symptoms of delirium and dementia include:. The ability to stay focused or maintain attention is significantly impaired with delirium.. While people with dementia have better and worse times of day, their memory and thinking skills stay at a fairly constant level during the course of a day.. Several medications or combinations of drugs can trigger delirium, including some types of:. General decline in health Poor recovery from surgery Need for institutional care Increased risk of death. Delirium.. Francis J Jr. Delirium and acute confusional states: Prevention, treatment, and prognosis.

Learn why mental well-being should matter to every senior. (Mental health doesn't have to be a taboo subject.) Start seeing this vital topic in a new light!

As a senior, "mental health" may not be a topic you think much about.. In short, taking your mental well-being seriously is a major step toward achieving and sustaining a better quality of life.. They are real conditions that can often be successfully treated or managed by getting professional help.. Mental health issues can have all kinds of different causes.. In fact, they usually aren't caused by just one thing.. Multiple factors—social, physical, and psychological—can interlink and lead to mental conditions that interfere with a person's life.. Even if you're currently a healthy senior, mental health problems may develop in you or someone you care about at some point in the future.. They might be hidden or overlooked.. When it comes to seniors (and mental health issues that might be affecting them), warning signs may include things such as:. Everybody deserves to live with a sense of positive mental well-being.. With that in mind, here are some tips for looking after your mental well-being:

Hydromorphone: learn about side effects, dosage, special precautions, and more on MedlinePlus

Tell your doctor if you are taking or plan to take any of the following medications: benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Diastat, Valium), estazolam, flurazepam, lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam, temazepam (Restoril), and triazolam (Halcion); medications for mental illness or nausea; muscle relaxants; other narcotic pain medications; sedatives; sleeping pills; or tranquilizers.. If you use hydromorphone with any of these medications and you develop any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care: unusual dizziness, lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slowed or difficult breathing, or unresponsiveness.. Hydromorphone extended-release tablets are used to relieve severe pain in people who are expected to need pain medication around the clock for a long time and who cannot be treated with other medications.. Hydromorphone extended-release tablets should only be used to treat people who are tolerant (used to the effects of the medication) to opioid medications because they have taken this type of medication for at least one week and should not be used to treat mild or moderate pain, short-term pain, pain after an operation or medical or dental procedure, or pain that can be controlled by medication that is taken as needed.. If you do not take hydromorphone extended-release tablets for longer than 3 days for any reason, talk to your doctor before you start taking the medication again.. tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to hydromorphone, any other medications, sulfites, or any of the ingredients in hydromorphone tablets, solution, or extended-release tablets.. Many other medications may also interact with hydromorphone, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.

Post-intensive care syndrome, or PICS, is made up of health problems that remain after critical illness.

These critically ill patients may develop health problems related to their illness, injury, ventilator or other treatments.. If you are an ICU patient or family member, this guide helps you understand the health problems known as post-intensive care syndrome , or PICS, so you know what to look for when you return home.. 33% of all patients on ventilators 50% of all patients admitted with severe infection, which is known as sepsis Up to 50% of patients who stay in the ICU for at least one week. Lastly, you can ask the care team to teach you how to help with your family member’s bedside exercises.. Patients should move their body as soon as they can and work with physical therapists, even while using a ventilator.. Participating in patient care is another way to support your family member and reduce stress.. Psychiatrist: A medical doctor who is specially trained to diagnose and treat mental health problems.. Surviving Sepsis Campaign Website : This website, created by the Society of Critical Care Medicine, is for critical care doctors, nurses and other members of the multiprofessional care teams.


1. Simulation Scenario - Delirium Care
(Western Australian Clinical Training Network)
2. Partnering with Family Caregivers: A Guide for Hospitalization When Your Loved One Has Dementia
(UCSF Memory and Aging Center)
3. How Families Can Help Patients Experiencing Delirium
(Institute for Healthcare Improvement - IHI)
4. Delirium - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology
5. Delirium: A Guide for Caregivers (Spanish)
(Memorial Sloan Kettering)
6. Information about ICU: Patients May Experience Delirium
(Inova Health System)

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