Quality & Patient Safety

PSMF takes aim at postoperative delirium in elders

Patient Safety Monitor, April 1, 2019

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BY JAY KUMAR

As it works toward its goal of eliminating preventable in-hospital deaths, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF) has identified a new challenge to target: postoperative delirium.

Speaking in January at the 7th annual meeting of the World Patient Safety Science & Technology Summit in Huntington Beach, California, a panel of experts discussed the issues around postoperative delirium and how to detect and prevent it. The PSMF has named postoperative delirium as its 18th patient safety challenge, collecting solutions for organizations to implement to reduce the number of preventable deaths from the condition.

Delirium is a condition of acute cerebral dysfunction that may be seen in patients in the early postoperative period or in ICU patients. It is found frequently in elderly patients, but often not diagnosed. In some patients, delirium manifests as hyperactivity and requires immediate intervention.

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