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      Emergency Department Stay Associated Delirium in Older Patients*

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          Caring for older patients can be challenging in the Emergency Department (ED). A > 12 hr ED stay could lead to incident episodes of delirium in those patients. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence and impacts of ED-stay associated delirium.


          A historical cohort of patients who presented to a Canadian ED in 2009 and 2011 was randomly constituted. Included patients were aged ≥ 65 years old, admitted to any hospital ward, non-delirious upon arrival and had at least a 12-hour ED stay. Delirium was detected using a modified chart-based Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) tool. Hospital length of stay (LOS) was log-transformed and linear regression assessed differences between groups. Adjustments were made for age and comorbidity profile.


          200 records were reviewed, 55.5% were female, median age was 78.9 yrs (SD:7.3). 36(18%) patients experienced ED-stay associated delirium. Nearly 50% of episodes started in the ED and within 36 hours of arrival. Comorbidity profile was similar between the positive CAM group and the negative CAM group. Mean adjusted hospital LOS were 20.5 days and 11.9 days respectively ( p<.03).


          1 older adult out of 5 became delirious after a 12 hr ED stay. Since delirium increases hospital LOS by more than a week, better screening and implementation of preventing measures for delirium could reduce LOS and overcrowding in the ED.

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          Updating the Beers criteria for potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults: results of a US consensus panel of experts.

          Medication toxic effects and drug-related problems can have profound medical and safety consequences for older adults and economically affect the health care system. The purpose of this initiative was to revise and update the Beers criteria for potentially inappropriate medication use in adults 65 years and older in the United States. This study used a modified Delphi method, a set of procedures and methods for formulating a group judgment for a subject matter in which precise information is lacking. The criteria reviewed covered 2 types of statements: (1) medications or medication classes that should generally be avoided in persons 65 years or older because they are either ineffective or they pose unnecessarily high risk for older persons and a safer alternative is available and (2) medications that should not be used in older persons known to have specific medical conditions. This study identified 48 individual medications or classes of medications to avoid in older adults and their potential concerns and 20 diseases/conditions and medications to be avoided in older adults with these conditions. Of these potentially inappropriate drugs, 66 were considered by the panel to have adverse outcomes of high severity. This study is an important update of previously established criteria that have been widely used and cited. The application of the Beers criteria and other tools for identifying potentially inappropriate medication use will continue to enable providers to plan interventions for decreasing both drug-related costs and overall costs and thus minimize drug-related problems.
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            Precipitating factors for delirium in hospitalized elderly persons. Predictive model and interrelationship with baseline vulnerability.

            To prospectively develop and validate a predictive model for delirium based on precipitating factors during hospitalization, and to examine the interrelationship of precipitating factors and baseline vulnerability. Two prospective cohort studies, in tandem. General medical wards, university teaching hospital. For the development cohort, 196 patients aged 70 years and older with no delirium at baseline, and for the validation cohort, 312 comparable patients. New-onset delirium by hospital day 9, defined by the Confusion Assessment Method diagnostic criteria. Delirium developed in 35 patients (18%) in the development cohort. Five independent precipitating factors for delirium were identified; use of physical restraints (adjusted relative risk [RR], 4.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5 to 7.9), malnutrition (RR, 4.0; 95% CI, 2.2 to 7.4), more than three medications added (RR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.6 to 5.4), use of bladder catheter (RR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.2 to 4.7), and any iatrogenic event (RR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1 to 3.2). Each precipitating factor preceded the onset of delirium by more than 24 hours. A risk stratification system was developed by adding 1 point for each factor present. Rates of delirium for low-risk (0 points), intermediate-risk (1 to 2 points), and high-risk groups (> or equal to 3 points) were 3%, 20%, and 59%, respectively (P < .001). The corresponding rates in the validation cohort, in which 47 patients (15%) developed delirium, were 4%, 20%, and 35%, respectively (P < .001). When precipitating and baseline factors were analyzed in cross-stratified format, delirium rates increased progressively from low-risk to high-risk groups in all directions (double-gradient phenomenon). The contributions of baseline and precipitating factors were documented to be independent and statistically significant. A simple predictive model based on the presence of five precipitating factors can be used to identify elderly medical patients at high risk for delirium. Precipitating and baseline vulnerability factors are highly interrelated and contribute to delirium in independent substantive, and cumulative ways.
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              A predictive model for delirium in hospitalized elderly medical patients based on admission characteristics.

              To prospectively develop and validate a predictive model for the occurrence of new delirium in hospitalized elderly medical patients based on characteristics present at admission. Two prospective cohort studies done in tandem. University teaching hospital. The development cohort included 107 hospitalized general medical patients 70 years or older who did not have dementia or delirium at admission. The validation cohort included 174 comparable patients. Patients were assessed daily for delirium using a standardized, validated instrument. The predictive model developed in the initial cohort was then validated in a separate cohort of patients. Delirium developed in 27 of 107 patients (25%) in the development cohort. Four independent baseline risk factors for delirium were identified using proportional hazards analysis: These included vision impairment (adjusted relative risk, 3.5; 95% Cl, 1.2 to 10.7); severe illness (relative risk, 3.5; Cl, 1.5 to 8.2); cognitive impairment (relative risk, 2.8; Cl, 1.2 to 6.7); and a high blood urea nitrogen/creatinine ratio (relative risk, 2.0; Cl, 0.9 to 4.6). A risk stratification system was developed by assigning 1 point for each risk factor present. Rates of delirium for low- (0 points), intermediate- (1 to 2 points), and high-risk (3 to 4 points) groups were 9%, 23%, and 83% (P < 0.0001), respectively. The corresponding rates in the validation cohort, in which 29 of 174 patients (17%) developed delirium, were 3%, 16%, and 32% (P < 0.002). The rates of death or nursing home placement, outcomes potentially related to delirium, were 9%, 16%, and 42% (P = 0.02) in the development cohort and 3%, 14%, and 26% (P = 0.007) in the validation cohort. Delirium among elderly hospitalized patients is common, and a simple predictive model based on four risk factors can be used at admission to identify elderly persons at the greatest risk.

                Author and article information

                Can Geriatr J
                Can Geriatr J
                Canadian Geriatrics Journal
                Canadian Geriatrics Society
                March 2017
                31 March 2017
                : 20
                : 1
                : 10-14
                [1 ]Centre d’Excellence sur le Vieillissement de Québec, Québec, QC, Canada
                [2 ]CHU de Québec–Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, Québec, QC, Canada
                [3 ]Département de médecine familiale et de médecine d’urgence, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada
                [4 ]Ottawa Health Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada
                [5 ]Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
                © 2017 Author(s). Published by the Canadian Geriatrics Society.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivative license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use and distribution, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research

                Geriatric medicine

                elders, emergency department, incidence, delirium


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