CHESTGuidelines & Topic CollectionsManagement of Delirium

Management of Delirium

Management of Delirium infographic

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Nonpharmacological Prevention and Management Strategies for Delirium

Published February 15, 2022

Delirium is common in the ICU and is associated with worse patient outcomes. Nonpharmacologic interventions are often simpler and safer than medications and may reduce the risk of future cognitive sequelae.

Strategies include:

  • Providing the patient with regular orientation to their surroundings.
  • Encouraging patients to mobilize early and often, including sitting up when possible.
  • Reducing agitation by limiting overstimulation, using restraints sparingly, and regularly assessing medication use.
  • Promoting normal sleep-wake cycles through bundling care and ensuring lights are on and blinds are open during the day and off at night.

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