Delirium in the Older Emergency Department Patient Change Package and Toolkit (ED-DEL)
Delirium is often the only presenting symptom of serious, even fatal, medical conditions, especially among older adults. It is a presenting condition for up to 30% of older adults in the emergency department (ED) (Gower 2012) and costs over $164 billion (2011 USD) per year in the United States (Oh 2017). Only 24-35% of delirium cases are recognized, and nearly half of patients are discharged with little consideration of the seriousness of the delirium (Gower 2012), which can lead to substantially increased mortality during the 6 months following ED discharge, 37% vs. 14% (Han 2010, Kakuma 2003). Importantly, delirium prolongs ED length of stay, and hospital stay by a median of 2 days (Kennedy 2014).