Epidemiology | Delirium In The ED

<< Managing Delirium In The Emergency Department: Tools For Targeting Underlying Etiology


Delirium represents a large burden on healthcare systems, and particularly those that serve the geriatric population. A review of ED delirium in the elderly found that 7% to 20% of patients admitted through the ED experience delirium.The presence of delirium increases the cost of each visit by approximately $2500 per patient, representing a total annual cost of $6.9 billion, or an increase in hospital charges of 27% for each patient.16,17 Contributing to these additional costs are increased hospital length of stay (LOS), increased intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, increased staff support for restraints, as well as a general functional decline of patients.5,18,19 Furthermore, patients with delirium require increased social support and have questionable ability to comply with medications as prescribed, leading to difficulties in discharge planning and more frequent nursing home placement.5,15,19

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