The impact of delirium on cardiac surgery patients

Announcing a new article publication for Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications journal. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) defines delirium as a disturbance in attention and awareness that develops over a short period and involves fluctuation in severity.

This profile is also accompanied by an additional disturbance in cognition (e.g., memory), which are not explained by a preexisting neurocognitive disorder. Arousal levels, such as those in patients in a coma, must also not be severely reduced. Finally, to make the diagnosis of delirium, there must be evidence that the disturbance is a direct physiological consequence of another medical condition, substance intoxication or withdrawal, exposure to a toxin, or due to multiple etiologies.

Delirium is common in patients undergoing cardiac surgery; with estimates ranging from 26% to 52%. In cardiac intensive care units, patients with delirium have more extended hospital and ICU stays; increased healthcare costs; and greater morbidity, mortality, and risk of cognitive decline. Additionally, the duration of delirium is an independent risk factor for worse cognition at long-term follow-up over 1 year. When delirium is recognized, tailored work-up and intervention for the underlying cause can reduce the duration of delirium and its negative consequences.

Journal reference:

Benjamin A., et al. (2024) Delirium in the Cardiac Patient. Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications.


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