Why Bring Delirium Prevention Measures to the ED?

  • ↑ ED length of stay may be associated with ↑ in incident delirium in hospitalized patients
  • ED health professionals are caring for patients for ↑ time in ED
    • ED boarding
    • Increasing care delivery in ED observation units
  • Some aspects of ED care may precipitate delirium
    • Medications (12%–29% of delirium is medication-induced)
    • Procedures
    • Hospitalization


Southerland LT, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2018;13(18):30971–30979

  • Older ED patients are more likely to be admitted to ED observation units than younger ED patients, and have longer observation unit lengths of stay


Alagiakrishnan K, et al. Postgrad Med J. 2004;80(945):388–393.

Bo M, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016;64(5):1114–1119.

Southerland LT, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2018;13(18):30971–30979.


ED, emergency department