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

Management

The goal of managing delirium in the ED is to rapidly identify and address the underlying medical conditions. Much of the treatment literature is directed towards hyperactive delirium or agitation and involves the balance between optimizing patient safety and minimizing disruptive behaviors and iatrogenic triggers. Emergency clinicians are encouraged to initiate medical management and provide supportive care and nonpharmacological management as the first steps. In the event that a pharmaco-logical intervention is warranted, the ideal agent targets the underlying etiology, has a rapid onset, and has minimal side effects. Algorithms and protocols may assist in the rapid identification, management, and prevention of delirium.68

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