Delirium in the intensive care unit

Margaret C Marshall, Mark D. Soucy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Delirium in the intensive care unit (ICU) is a complex, common, and problematic condition that interferes with healing and recovery. It leads to higher morbidity and mortality and extended hospital stays. The aging population older than 65, and more likely to develop delirium, is the fastest growing population in the United States and is increasingly seen in the ICU. Delirium is often unrecognized and misdiagnosed, which leads to mistreatment or lack of appropriate treatment. This article discusses the definition of delirium, pathogenesis, clinical practice guidelines, newer assessment tools for ICU, and nursing interventions directed toward prevention and early identification of delirium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Care Nursing Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Assessment tools
  • Critical care patient
  • Delirium
  • Nursing interventions
  • Pathogenesis
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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