If you’ve ever been ill or had a fever, you may have experienced being delirious. To the person suffering from delirium, it feels like the world is spinning, and nothing really makes sense. What’s going on inside the brain, though, can actually be more serious than a bout of dizziness might indicate.
Delirium affects the cognitive function of the brain, and is a dysfunction of the central nervous system. While most people will experience delirium at least once in their life, patients that are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit are at a high risk of suffering from delirium; and it is far more likely to affect their overall health.
Paul is completing this project to test if a new electronic delirium screening tool (an iPad app) can identify delirium in patients within the Intensive Care Unit. Through this, Paul hopes that delirium can be more quickly identified in ICU, leading to better overall care and harm avoidance for patients.
So far, control testing on healthy people is now complete and the team have recruited and tested half of the actual patients needed to complete their data analysis. Hospital staff, patients and family are finding the application very easy to use, and the app is proving extremely helpful in what is already a stressful ICU environment.
The app is helping to show that by being able to identify delirium in a patient quickly we can more accurately administer treatment and have the potential to limit the effect of their condition and in some cases save their life.