Volume 16
Number 5
Dec 2012
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MMJ van Eijk

Delirium is a commonly encountered disorder in critically ill patients. As delirium is associated with more adverse events and worse outcomes when compared to non-delirious patients, prevention and treatment of delirium in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) pa- tients is of importance to intensivists. This article presents an overview of pharmacological (for example, prophylactic administration of antipsychotics) and non-pharmacological strategies (for example, early mobilisation and daily interruption of sedation) to prevent the occurrence of delirium and reduce its burden. Furthermore, an overview of pharmacological therapies (including α2-agonists and cholin- esterase inhibitors) for treating delirium in ICU patients is presented. Finally, future directions for research are discussed.

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