Risk Factors for Early Delirium after Surgery

Dragos Florin Voicu, Dorina Stan


Background: Although unrecognized, early postoperative delirium and cognitive dysfunction in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are relatively common.
Aim: The present study has proposed to identify the risk factors for delirium and their early incidence after surgery, with a view to implementing a screening list for delirium in ICU (ICDSL).
Method: 722 patients undergoing abdominal surgery, with general anesthesia, were prospectively monitored for the development of postoperative delirium during Intensive Care Unit (ICU) stay.
Results: The incidence of postoperative delirium was 8.03% (58 cases). No statistically relevant prolongation predictors for delirium were found. The duration of surgery was double, thus significantly higher in the delirium group (2.5 ± 1 vs 1 ± 0.87 hours). Patients in the delusion group were transfused with blood products, had episodes of intraoperative cardiocirculatory decline, underwent protracted mechanical ventilation (averaging 1.15 hours longer), and the duration of the ICU stage was double.
Conclusions: The incidence of delirium, after surgery under general anesthesia, was 8.03%. The independent predictors of delirium were: the duration of surgery and post-operative mechanical ventilation and the length of hospitalization in ICU.


delirium; risk factors; surgery

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