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Mismanagement of delerium places patients at risk

O'Connell, Beverly and Ski, Chantal 2006, Mismanagement of delerium places patients at risk, Australian journal of advanced nursing, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 42-46.

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Title Mismanagement of delerium places patients at risk
Author(s) O'Connell, Beverly
Ski, Chantal
Journal name Australian journal of advanced nursing
Volume number 23
Issue number 3
Start page 42
End page 46
Publisher Australian Nursing Federation
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2006-03
ISSN 0813-0531
1447-4328
Keyword(s) delirium
acute confusion
ageing
treatment
risk management
Summary Objective: This paper discusses the problem of delirium and the challenges of accurately assessing, preventing and managing patients with delirium in an acute care setting.

Primary Argument: Acute confusion, also known as delirium, is misdiagnosed and under-treated in up to 94% of older patients in hospitals. With the ageing population, this problem will increase dramatically in the Australian setting. Managing patients with delirium is challenging not only for the management of their basic nursing care needs but also because they are prone to adverse events such as falls and medication problems. In order to address this issue it is vital that health care professionals routinely assess patients for signs of delirium. The current 'gold standard' for assessing delirium is the use of the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) which has been developed based on the diagnostic criteria set by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV and can be used by non-psychiatrists. Further, increased attention should be given to the prevention and management of delirium and the use of orientation and validation therapy.

Conclusion: Research indicates that early identification and intervention can help to limit any negative effects or adverse events. Increasing knowledge and awareness of early detection and efficient management of delirium is the first step toward prevention.
Notes Reprinted with permission of the AJAN
Language eng
Field of Research 111001 Aged Care Nursing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, Australian Nursing Federation
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003628

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.