NICE Guideline - Delirium in Adults
The new guide from NICE covers the prevention, diagnosis and management of delirium in adults.
What is Delirium?
Delirium is a sudden change in a person’s mental state. It is a serious condition that is sometimes mistaken for dementia or, more rarely, depression. Unlike dementia, delirium develops quickly and is usually temporary. Having delirium can mean:
- Longer hospital stays
- Increased risk of dementia
- Increased mortality
Most people living in care homes will be at risk. Care staff have an important role to play in looking out for any changes and providing support to reduce the risk of delirium occurring.
Other risk factors can also include:
- Age over 65 years
- Cognitive impairment and/or dementia
- Current hip fracture
- Severe illness
To help prevent delirium in anyone at risk:
- Make sure support is provided by carers who are familiar to them
- Avoid moving the person unnecessarily, and keep their surroundings familiar
- Request a review if they are taking multiple medications
- Check on admission, and then daily, for any changes that might indicate delirium and refer for an assessment if needed
Read the full Guideline
To view the full Guideline, click here