Surg Clin North Am. 2022 Feb;102(1):139-148. doi: 10.1016/j.suc.2021.09.006.
In the intensive care unit, delirium is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in adult patients. Patients with delirium have been shown to have increased length of stay, decreased functional outcomes, and increased risk for requiring placement at the time of discharge. In addition, decreased cognitive function and dementia have been shown to be long-term complications from delirium. The mainstay of treatment and prevention include therapy- and behavioral-based interventions, including frequent orientation, cognitive stimulation, mobilization, sleep restoration, and providing hearing and visual aids. Refractory delirium may require pharmacologic intervention with antipsychotics or alpha-2 agonists.