Development of delirium in critical care patients is associated with increased length of stay, hospital costs, and mortality. Delirium occurs across all inpatient settings, although critically ill patients who require mechanical ventilation are at the highest risk. Overall, evidence to support the use of antipsychotics to either prevent or treat delirium is lacking, and these medications can have adverse effects. The pain, agitation, and delirium guidelines of the American College of Critical Care Medicine provide the strongest level of recommendation for the use of nonpharmacological approaches to prevent delirium, but questions remain about which nonpharmacological interventions are beneficial.

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