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Predisposing Factors of Delirium in Patients on a General Medical Nephrology Unit
AuthorFlowers, Stephanie R.
AdvisorDeBoor, Stephanie S.
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ABSTRACT Delirium is an acute, serious disturbance in one's mental functioning. When a patient develops delirium during their hospital stay they increase their risk for morbidity and mortality, entry into long term care, risk of dementia, increased length of hospital stay, infection, falls, and or further functional impairment. Not only does delirium cause these further issues for the patient, but it carries a significant economic burden; an additional $100 billion dollars annually on the U.S. health care system. Current literature was reviewed regarding predisposing risk factors for delirium and focused mainly on patients aged 65 or greater. The purpose of this study was to identify whether or not possessing one or more predisposing factors, such as advanced age, transfer from a nursing home, alcohol abuse, smoking, illicit drug use, visual impairment, hearing loss, elevated urea-creatinine, history of stroke, epilepsy, CHF, or depression contributed to higher risk of developing delirium within the patient's first 72 hours of stay. Statistically significant results were found identifying that having more predisposing factors as a total (p=.023), does indeed put patients at higher risk for developing delirium. Further research is needed to identify which predisposing factor(s) may hold greater weight in the development of delirium.