Delirium in the Brain-Injured Patient
Article first published online: 29 OCT 2013
© 2013 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Volume 39, Issue 5, pages 232–239, September/October 2014
How to Cite
Gion, T. and Leclaire-Thoma, A. (2014), Delirium in the Brain-Injured Patient. Rehabilitation Nursing, 39: 232–239. doi: 10.1002/rnj.128
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2014
- Article first published online: 29 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 JUL 2013
- head injury;
- practice implications
To differentiate between expected behavior of a newly brain-injured person and an episode of delirium.
This article reviews the different types of delirium and predisposing risk factors that place patients at risk for developing delirium.
This case study illustrates how delirium can mimic expected behaviors seen in patients with traumatic brain injuries and emphasizes the importance of assessing for risk factors of delirium.
Clinicians can easily misdiagnose delirium. Nurses should assess every patient for signs and symptoms of delirium, using a standardized tool, such as the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) or Cognitive Test for Delirium (CTD).
Improved education on the risk factors for and symptoms of delirium is necessary for the rehabilitation nurse to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of this potentially life-threatening condition.