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Programme helps detect delirium

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A simple education programme can significantly improve nurses’ ability to screen patients in ICU for delirium, claim US researchers.

They evaluated 50 ICU nurses before and after a training programme, comprising practical exercises, case studies and a presentation on using different scale-based delirium assessments.

Before training they found only a quarter of nurses reported the presence or absence of delirium, and only 16% were correct. But, the study, due to be published in Critical Care, reports that after training, all were able to spot the presence of delirium.

Assessing delirium in patients in ICU was equally as important as assessing levels of pain and sedation, said the authors.

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