Delirium and malnutrition : what do dietitians need to know ?
Adrienne Young ( AdvAPD ), Elise Treleaven ( APD ), Alison Mudge ( Physician ) and Margaret Cahill ( Clinical Nurse Consultant )
Delirium affects 1 in 4 patients in ICU and acute medical wards but is prevalent across all areas of the hospital and even after discharge – so all dietitians should be on the lookout .
Malnutrition and delirium are interrelated and affect up to 50 % of older hospital patients . Both conditions are multifactorial , under-diagnosed and linked to worse outcomes , including increased mortality .
Poor nutrition and hydration are risk factors for the development of delirium , and people with delirium are significantly more likely to have poor oral intake 1 , potentially creating a viscious cycle of nutritional decline . Whilst most common in older people , delirium can affect people of all ages and across the continuum of care . Dietitians need to know what delirium is , how to prevent it and how to manage it .