Recovery Room Delirium Predicts Postoperative Delirium After Hip-Fracture Repair

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In this study, we sought to determine the incidence of recovery room delirium in elderly patients having hip-fracture repair under general anesthesia and to discover whether recovery room delirium is associated with continuing postoperative delirium. In this prospective study, patients undergoing hip-fracture repair were anesthetized using a standardized protocol. In addition, postoperative pain management was standardized in both the postoperative anesthesia care unit and in the hospital ward. The presence of delirium was determined using the confusion assessment method (CAM) score. Recovery room delirium was assessed by obtaining a CAM score at 60 min after discontinuation of isoflurane. Postoperative delirium was assessed by obtaining a daily CAM score during the postoperative in-hospital recovery period. Fifty patients consented to the study and 47 patients were included in the analysis (surgery cancelled postinduction n = 1; nonadherence to protocol n = 2). Average patient age was 77 ± 1 (mean ± se) yr (range, 56–98 yr). Seventy-seven percent of the study patients were ASA class III or more. The prevalence of recovery room delirium was 45%. The prevalence of postoperative delirium was 36%. Recovery room delirium predicted postoperative delirium (P < 0.001, Fisher’s exact test) with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 85%. Analgesic doses administered in the postoperative anesthesia care unit and ward were similar in patients with or without postoperative delirium. Results of this study show that recovery room delirium is a strong predictor of postoperative delirium.

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