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Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2012 Sep;26(3):327-43. doi: 10.1016/j.bpa.2012.08.003.

An update on delirium in the postoperative setting: prevention, diagnosis and management.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, 94143, USA.


Delirium is a serious and pervasive problem in the postoperative setting. Research to date has identified a number of key risk factors implicated in the development of delirium after surgical intervention, including advanced age, pre-existing cognitive impairment, lower pre-morbid functional status and history of psychiatric illness. Efforts to prevent postoperative delirium in the form of multi-component programs and prophylactic administration of medications have yielded some positive results. Studies investigating the effectiveness of various antipsychotics in the treatment of postoperative delirium have demonstrated somewhat mixed outcomes. Recent research has identified more sophisticated management of pain and sedation protocols as a way to prevent or mitigate delirium, with promising results. This chapter reviews the most recent literature pertaining to the prevention, diagnosis and management of postoperative delirium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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