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Saller, Thomas; Hofmann-Kiefer, Klaus F.; Saller, Isabel; Zwissler, Bernhard; Dossow, Vera von (2020): Implementation of strategies to prevent and treat postoperative delirium in the post-anesthesia caring unit A German survey of current practice. In: Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing, Vol. 35, No. 3: pp. 599-605
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Abstract

Postoperative delirium is associated with worse outcome. The aim of this study was to understand present strategies for delirium screening and therapy in German Post-Anesthesia-Caring-Units (PACU). We designed a German-wide web-based questionnaire which was sent to 922 chairmen of anesthesiologic departments and to 726 anesthetists working in ambulatory surgery. The response rate was 30% for hospital anesthesiologists. 10% (95%-confidence interval: 8-12) of the anesthesiologists applied a standardised screening for delirium. Even though not on a regular basis, in 44% (41-47) of the hospitals, a recommended and validated screening was used, the Nursing Delirium Screening Scale (NuDesc) or the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU). If delirium was likely to occur, 46% (43-50) of the patients were examined using a delirium tool. 20% (17-23) of the patients were screened in intensive care units. For the treatment of delirium, alpha-2-agonists (83%, 80-85) were used most frequently for vegetative symptoms, benzodiazepines for anxiety in 71% (68-74), typical neuroleptics in 77% (71-82%) of patients with psychotic symptoms and in 20% (15-25) in patients with hypoactive delirium. 45% (39-51) of the respondents suggested no therapy for this entity. Monitoring of delirium is not established as a standard procedure in German PACUs. However, symptom-oriented therapy for postoperative delirium corresponds with current guidelines.