In intensive care patients, delirium triggered by alcohol withdrawal is underestimated despite the fact that it occurs in approximately 10% of all ICU patients. Alcohol withdrawal delirium is the most serious manifestation of alcohol withdrawal and it is associated with even more complications and poor outcome. Therefore, it should be prevented; if it does occur it should be treated as early as possible to avoid negative sequelae, in particular infections, cardiac complications and long-term cognitive dysfunction. In this article we summarize strategies to detect alcohol use disorders and alcohol withdrawal and those for treating alcoholic withdrawal and delirium tremens.
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