If the patient lacked capacity to make clinical decisions or was delirious, consent was obtained from the surrogate.
Patients were excluded if they were directly admitted from the ED to the ICU, were non-English speaking, were unable to be assessed for delirium (eg, comatose, severe dementia, severe psychiatric illness), or were unavailable due to diagnostic tests or procedures (figure 1).
To our knowledge, none have examined the outcomes of delirium that persists from ED to inpatient ward.
This is an important gap in knowledge for several reasons.
Delirium was characterised in two different ways: (1) as a binary variable (never vs ever delirious), and (2) as a categorical variable (0–3 days of delirium).
We also performed an exploratory analysis in which delirium was classified based on resolution status: never delirious, resolved delirium (eg, delirious in ED and not delirious on hospital day 2 or 3), incident delirium (eg, not delirious in ED and delirious on hospital day 2 or 3) and persistent delirium (eg, delirious in ED through hospital day 3).
Conclusions Delirium during the first few days of hospitalisation was associated with poor outcomes in older adults admitted from the ED to the inpatient ward.