Innovations in Aged Care
Management of delirium in medicine: Experience of a Close Observation Unit
Article first published online: 5 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Australasian Journal on Ageing © 2013 ACOTA
Australasian Journal on Ageing
Volume 32, Issue 1, pages 60–63, March 2013
How to Cite
Eeles, E., Thompson, L., McCrow, J. and Pandy, S. (2013), Management of delirium in medicine: Experience of a Close Observation Unit. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 32: 60–63. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12007
- Issue published online: 21 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 5 MAR 2013
- Internal Medicine Services
A new model of care for the management of patients with delirium was developed and evaluated.
A four-bedded Close Observation Unit (COU) was introduced. The model comprised education for assistants in nursing (AINs), environmental adaptations and AIN-to-patient ratio of 1:4. Outcomes in all patients with delirium before and after introduction of the new model of care were compared.
One hundred and five patients were admitted to COU, of whom 100 (95%) were diagnosed with delirium. In-hospital mortality improved after introduction of the unit (15% vs 5%; P = 0.002) without significant change in length of stay, discharge destination or falls frequency.
A dedicated unit for delirium management within medicine achieved a reduction in mortality.