Post operative delirium (POD) is a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by acutely declined cognitive function secondary to principal stimulants.1 It is a major preventable post operative complication with a reported incidence of 52 % among cardiac surgery patients.2 Postoperative delirium in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) is a frequent psychiatric complication after cardiac surgery and is associated with increased morbidity like prolonged hospital stay, poorer functional and cognitive outcomes and sometimes increased mortality. It can manifest in various means and the factors contributing to it remains to be identified in our local setting.
However, the diagnosis of delirium is frequently missed and therefore will not be addressed properly. A highly specific, sensitive and well validated tool for assessing delirium, the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM), will serve as our screening tool to detect the incidence of delirium in our post operative cardiac patients. Developed by Inouye et al, it has helped improve the assessment of delirium by non-psychiatrists and was based on expert opinion and definitions of the American Psychiatric Association to assist clinicians without formal psychiatric training. 3 It was later used in the surgical ICU by Marcatonio et al and further developed by Hart et al, to include assessment of surgical patients who are also mechanically ventilated, with the use of a visual memory and attention instrument.
In this prospective cohort study, we will screen patients who underwent open chest cardiac surgery and then admitted at the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) for delirium using the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAMICU). We will likewise identify the factors contributing to post operative delirium so that
we can decrease its occurrence.