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Delirium in ICU Patients

How is ICU delirium diagnosed?


​​The ICU healthcare team knows how to look for signs of delirium, even if your loved one can’t talk. They watch for changes in attention, behavior, sleeping patterns, and other signs. They use a tool called the Intensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist. But ICU delirium can still be hard to diagnose. Studies show that 1 out of 3 cases may go unnoticed.

While the healthcare team does their best to look for signs of delirium, they don’t know your loved one as well as you do. That’s why it’s important for you to let us know if something doesn’t seem right with your loved one while they are in the ICU.


To help the healthcare team assess for delirium, they may ask you questions about your loved one’s medical history and what they were like before they came to the hospital.


Current as of: June 22, 2020

Author: Critical Care SCN