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Regarding prevention, the aim should be to minimize exposure to the various patient- and hospital-related factors that are known to predispose to delirium in elderly inpatients. The ward environment and routines should aim to avoid unnecessary sensory impairment and sleep deprivation, and support a normal sleep-wake cycle. Nonpharmacological sleep-promotion strategies should be used in preference to hypnotic drugs. It is important to ensure adequate food and fluid intake, and patients should be encouraged to be mobile whenever possible. Careful prescribing is important, avoiding where possible any drugs with known potential to cause delirium, particularly in at-risk individuals such as those with dementia. The drug chart should be regularly reviewed, with the aim of keeping the burden of medication as low as possible. In surgical patients, good pre-, peri-, and postoperative care (especially with regard to blood pressure, oxygenation, pain relief, and infection control) will reduce the risk of postoperative delirium.



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Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1Delirium - Age And Delirium, Causes, Outcome, Clinical Management, Prevention