Delirium is a severe but frequent organ dysfunction in intensive care units (ICU) affecting nearly 80% of mechanically ventilated patients and up to 50% of non-ventilated patients. Although guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of delirium exist it often remains underdiagnosed due to the lack of implementation of these guidelines. Therefore, the chance of a positive outcome for patients can be significantly reduced. Delirium results in longer mechanical ventilation, extended hospital stay, more nosocomial infections and an increased mortality. Measures which improve the frequency of diagnosis and increase the quality of treatment will only be successful if physicians, nursing staff and other medical staff on ICUs realize strategies together and raise their awareness on delirium.
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