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Delirium screening tool(s) for (ed): Implementation
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Delirium is characterized as a state of acute to subacute confusion that comes on very suddenly and lasts hours or even days (Vyveganathan et al., 2019). This condition is an acute confusional state, characterized by disturbance of consciousness accompanied by variable degrees of cognitive impairment (McCoy, Hart, & Perlis 2017). Other commonly used terms to describe delirium include acute confusion state, ICU psychosis, and organic brain syndrome (Arbabi, Shahhatami, Mojtahedzadeh, Mohammadi, & Ghaeli, 2018). Delirium often occurs due to one or more of the many possible contributing factors. The most common factors include infections, medications, dehydration, pain, cardiovascular accidents, metabolic disturbances, and recent surgeries (Kukreja, Ulf, & Popp, 2015). After identifying, and treating, the underlying disease process, delirium is often wholly reversible and goes away in a few days to weeks. However, approximately 2.6 million older adults annually experience delirium before or during hospitalization, but the diagnosis is missed in up to 70% of cases (Han et al., 2009). Despite the prevalence of delirium amongst the elderly population, healthcare professionals have been found to have little sensitivity for the topic, and avoid evident training needs (Selim & Ely, 2016). Allowing delirium to progress without detection and treatment leads to more extended hospital stays, worse patient outcomes, and may even lead to death (McCoy et al., 2017). Diagnosing delirium and implementing immediate effective treatment is the best way to combat the negative consequences that may present from delirium