Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


alcohol, anticholinergic(s), benzodiazepine(s), beta-blocker(s), hallucinosis, intervention(s), neuroleptic(s), withdrawal



  1. Webb, John M. MD
  2. Carlton, Elizabeth F. RN, MSN, CCRN
  3. Geehan, Douglas M. MD


The intensive care unit (ICU) represents a dynamic interaction between patient factors and interventional factors. The complexity of this situation can generate an impaired consciousness in the patients. The critical care provider is faced with deducing the etiology and treatment of delirium in the ICU. Many of the therapeutic agents that are used in the ICU may precipitate delirium. Patients may also experience delirium as part of their underlying medical conditions. Withdrawal syndromes, delirium tremens in particular, are known to cause delirium. By a combination of appropriate selection of medications and an awareness of delirium as a side effect, the patient in the ICU may be treated in a manner to minimize the clouding of consciousness. An understanding of the proposed pathophysiology of various types of delirium will allow appropriate clinical measures to be taken.