5 key characteristics of children experiencing delirium

A study published in the American Journal of Nursing examined the risk factors for and characteristics of acute delirium in pediatric inpatients.

Researchers identified 52 studies. Of these, 21 studies involving 2,616 subjects were included in a systematic review.

The five primary characteristics seen in children experiencing delirium are:

• Agitation
• Disorientation
• Hallucinations
• Inattention
• Sleep–wake cycle disturbances

The study also shows more seriously ill children, such as those in the intensive care unit and with high Pediatric Risk of Mortality II scores, as well as children who were mechanically ventilated, were at greater risk of developing delirium.

Additionally, those with a developmental delay or a preexisting anxiety disorder were more prone to delirium.

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