Preventing delirium in the hospital

Most of us think it will never happen to us. But every year, about ten million Canadians end up in Emergency. It’s never fun. In addition to the illness or injury that brought you to the hospital, your whole routine of rest and diet can be seriously disrupted.

And that can lead to another serious health risk called delirium. Factors like fatigue and dehydration can trigger a state of confusion, or even aggression. The risk goes up with older age, and the longer you are in the hospital. And delirium is exactly what Sunnybrook’s emergency staff is trying to prevent.

Call it a strong dose of prevention. Through a novel training program developed here, called IPPOD, Sunnybrook staff has been trained to watch for the warning signs. That means everyone from the paramedics to the person admitting you, to the doctors and nurses caring for you along the way. Delirium is a serious health threat, but is also largely preventable with simple fixes. Drink something. Walk around. Common sense prevails, even at the worst of times.

About the author

Monica Matys

Monica Matys is a Communications Advisor at Sunnybrook.

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