Introduction Early screening of paediatric delirium (PD) allows for early intervention if necessary. The aim of this study was to determine if early screening with the SOS-PD scale led to higher prevalence of PD in ICU patients.
Methods A prospective before-after study design was applied in a population of children aged >3 months and admitted for ≥48 h to the PICU. In the before-period the prevalence of PD was estimated in terms of the number of children with PD confirmed by the consulting psychiatrist. During the after-period nurses systematically assessed the children with the SOS-PD scale three times a day in addition to the psychiatric consultation (SOS-PD score ≥4).
Results 148 and 150 children were included in the before and after period, respectively. The prevalence of PD was 6.1% and 8.7% for the before and after period respectively (see Table). The relative risk of PD with early screening was 1:43 (95% CI 0.63 to 3.23). In 33 patients (22%) the SOS-PD score was ≥4 on one or more occasions. In 14 of these patients, the child psychiatrist was consulted. In the remaining patients the child psychiatrist was not consulted for the following reasons: only once a high score (n = 9), adverse effects of sedatives (n = 4), and underlying disease/motor restlessness (n = 6).
Conclusions Systematic early screening of PD resulted in a higher incidence of PD and could contribute to timely start of treatment.
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