Assessment of delirium in the intensive care unit

DOI: 10.1080/22201181.2017.1332809
Author(s): TF KallenbachDepartment of Anaesthesia, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, South Africa, LA AmadoDepartment of Anaesthesia, South Africa


Delirium poses a significant burden on our healthcare, with patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) at an increased risk for developing this disorder. In addition, the ICU environment poses unique challenges in the assessment of delirium. It is paramount that the healthcare provider has an understanding of delirium in ICU, and monitors for it vigilantly. There have been various scoring systems developed to assist in this regard. However, the most commonly used and validated tools for the assessment of delirium are the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) and the Intensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist (ICDSC). Biomarkers of delirium are emerging as tools to diagnose delirium, stratify severity, monitor progress, and predict outcomes, potentially changing the way we approach delirium in the future.

Get new issue alerts for Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia