Delirium in the Emergency Department: Novel Screening

2014-08-27 03:12:12 | BioPortfolio


Delirium is an acute confusional state characterized by altered or fluctuating mental status, inattention, and either disorganized thinking or an altered level of consciousness. This form of organ dysfunction occurs in up to 10% of older emergency department (ED) patients and is associated with worsening mortality, prolonged hospital length of stay, higher health care costs, and accelerated functional and cognitive decline. Despite the negative consequences of delirium, the majority of cases are unrecognized by emergency physicians because it is not routinely screened for. In an effort to facilitate delirium screening, the investigators sought to validate two brief delirium assessments in the ED setting.


Delirium is often missed because emergency physicians do not routinely screen for this diagnosis. Most delirium assessments can take up to 10 minutes to perform making them less likely to be incorporated into the routine physician assessment. Using brief (<2 minutes) and easy to use delirium assessments may ameliorate this quality of care issue. The Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) possesses these characteristics, but has only been validated in mechanically and non-mechanically ventilated intensive care unit patients. As a result, it still requires validation in older ED patients. Recently, the investigators also developed the Brief Confusion Assessment Method (B-CAM) which is a modification of the CAM-ICU. The benefit is that it takes even less time than the CAM-ICU. However, it also requires validation in older ED patients. As result, the investigators propose the following and the following specific aims:

Aim #1: To validate the B-CAM in older ED patients. The B-CAM will be performed by a clinical trials associate (CTA) and principal investigator in 200 ED patients that are > 65 years old. This instrument will be validated against a psychiatrist's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th. Edition Text Revision assessment as the reference standard.

Aim #2: To validate the CAM-ICU in older ED patients. The CAM-ICU will be performed by a clinical trials associate (CTA) and principal investigator in approximately 200 ED patients that are > 65 years old. This instrument will be validated against a psychiatrist's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th. Edition Text Revision assessment as the reference standard.

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective




Vanderbilt University Medical Center
United States




Vanderbilt University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:12:12-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A form of DELIRIUM which occurs after GENERAL ANESTHESIA.

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A disorder characterized by CONFUSION; inattentiveness; disorientation; ILLUSIONS; HALLUCINATIONS; agitation; and in some instances autonomic nervous system overactivity. It may result from toxic/metabolic conditions or structural brain lesions. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp411-2)

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