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Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU (CAM-ICU)

Establishes ability to detect delirium in high risk settings.

Level of Consciousness
Feature 1: Acute Onset or Fluctuating Course
Feature 2: Inattention
Feature 3: Altered Level of Consciousness
Feature 4: Disorganized Thinking (modal)

Management

  • When applied, the CAM-ICU will provide a qualitative result of “delirium present” or “delirium absent”.
  • Patients identified as suffering from delirium will be investigated and managed accordingly.
  • The CAM-ICU should continue to be used daily even in patients that are delirious in order to monitor for resolution of the condition.

Critical Actions

  • The management of delirium is an extensive topic that is beyond the scope of this discussion.
  • Screen all ICU patients daily for delirium using a validated clinical tool such as the CAM-ICU.
  • The screening is best performed by individuals trained in the proper usage of this method such as ICU nurses.
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