Acute Crit Care.  2019 May;34(2):117-125. 10.4266/acc.2019.00451.

Prevention and management of delirium in critically ill adult patients in the intensive care unit: a review based on the 2018 PADIS guidelines

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Research Center for Pulmonary Disorders, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.


Delirium is an acute, confusional state characterized by altered consciousness and a reduced ability to focus, sustain, or shift attention. It is associated with a number of complex underlying medical conditions and can be difficult to recognize. Many critically ill patients (e.g., up to 80% of patients in the intensive care unit [ICU]) experience delirium due to underlying medical or surgical health problems, recent surgical or other invasive procedures, medications, or various noxious stimuli (e.g., underlying psychological stressors, mechanical ventilation, noise, light, patient care interactions, and drug-induced sleep disruption or deprivation). Delirium is associated with a longer duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU admittance as well as an increased risk of death, disability, and long-term cognitive dysfunction. Therefore, the early recognition of delirium is important and ICU medical staff should devote careful attention to both watching for the occurrence of delirium and its prevention and management. This review presents a brief overview of delirium and an update of the literature with reference to the 2018 Society of Critical Care Medicine Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Pain, Agitation/Sedation, Delirium, Immobility, and Sleep Disruption in Adult Patients in the ICU.


delirium; guidelines; intensive care units; prevention and control

MeSH Terms

Critical Care*
Critical Illness*
Intensive Care Units*
Medical Staff
Patient Care
Respiration, Artificial
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