Delirious patients are common in intensive care units (ICUs). Delirium occurs in 20% to 50% of nonintubated ICU patients and 60% to 85% of ICU patients who are receiving mechanical ventilation. Delirium is associated with increased mortality, increased hospital stay and cost of care, and long-term deterioration of cognitive and functional processes. Delirium is a multifactorial syndrome that is missed by critical care nurses and clinicians approximately 72% of the time when a nurse is completing a general bedside assessment.3,4  Positive outcomes for patients can be achieved through the use of evidence-based assessment tools to help better detect and manage delirium.

The ICU at Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) is an 8-bed unit that provides care to medical and surgical oncology patients. The patients at FCCC are at high risk for ICU delirium because of the chronicity of...

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