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Korean J Anesthesiol. 2019 Feb;72(1):4-12. English. Review.
Oh ST , Park JY .
Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine at Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University Health System, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, The Armed Forces Hongcheon Hospital, Hongcheon, Korea.

Delirium can be defined as an ‘acute brain dysfunction.’ Compared to dementia, which is a disease that deteriorates the brain function chronically, delirium shows very similar symptoms but is mostly ameliorated when the causative factors are normalized. Due to the heterogeneity in etiologies and symptoms, people including health care workers often mistake delirium for dementia or other psychiatric disorders. Delirium has attracted global interest increasingly and a vast amount of research on its management has been conducted. Experts in the field have constantly suggested that systematic intervention should be implemented through a team-based multicomponent approach aimed to reduce the incidence and duration of delirium. Surgery involves many health care workers with different expertise who are not familiar with delirium. For a team-based approach on the management of delirium, it is vital that all medical personnel concerned have a common understanding of delirium and keep in constant communication. Postoperative delirium is a common complication and exerts an enormous burden on patients, their families, hospitals, and public resources. To alleviate this burden, this article aimed to review general features and the latest evidence-based knowledge of delirium with a focus on postoperative delirium.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.