Dr Olin and colleagues investigated the occurrence of postoperative delirium in elderly patients undergoing abdominal surgery.
The investigative team identified factors associated with delirium in this population.
Data were collected prospectively from 51 patients aged 65 years or more.
The team diagnosed delirium by the Confusion Assessment Method and from the medical records.
The Mini Mental State Examination was used to identify cognitive impairment.
Postoperative delirium occurred in 26 of 51 patients.
The investigators found that delirium lasted for 1 to 2 days in 14 patients who had short postoperative delirium.
In patients with long postoperative delirium, the team noted that delirium lasted for 3 days or more in 12 patients.
The latter patients had significantly greater intraoperative blood loss and intravenous fluid infusion.
|Patients had a lower Mini Mental State Examination score on postoperative day 4|
|British Journal of Surgery|
The investigators observed that the patients with long postoperative delirium had a higher rate of postoperative complications.
The team found that these patients had a lower Mini Mental State Examination score on postoperative day 4.
In addition, these patients and a longer hospital stay than patients without postoperative delirium.
Patients in the short postoperative delirium group were older than those in the long postoperative delirium group and those who did not develop delirium.
Dr Olin's team commented, “Approximately half of the elderly patients in this study developed postoperative delirium”.
“Bleeding was found to be an important risk factor for delirium.”