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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2008 Aug;24(4):218-21. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2008.04.005. Epub 2008 Jun 3.

Intensive care delirium monitoring and standardised treatment: a complete survey of Dutch Intensive Care Units.

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  • 1Department of Intensive Care, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Delirium is a frequent and serious problem in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Several international guidelines recommend daily monitoring for ICU-delirium. The purpose of this article is to give an up-to-date overview of the current status of monitoring and treatment of ICU-delirium in the Netherlands.


Nation-wide, telephone-based questionnaire survey.


Head nurse of all ICUs and a random sample of intensivists.


Only 14% (n=14) of all Dutch ICUs (n=103) monitored for ICU-delirium. Of these, only half (7%) used a tool that is validated in ICU patients. In 31% of Dutch ICUs, a protocol was used to treat ICU-delirium. Responses were obtained from 100% of ICUs.


Despite an international guideline, not more than 7% of ICUs in our study routinely evaluated the presence of delirium with a validated instrument. Fewer than one-third of Dutch ICUs use a protocol to treat ICU-delirium.

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