Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Impacting Delirium in the Trauma ICU Utilizing the ICU Liberation Collaborative Benchmark Report

Sweeney, Jennifer, DNP, RN, CEN, TCRN

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000405

Delirium is a frequent complication of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, manifesting as acute confusion with inattention and disordered thinking. Patients in the ICU who develop acute delirium are more likely to experience long-term disability and mortality. The Society of Critical Care Medicine published guidelines for the management of pain, agitation, and delirium (PAD) in the ICU in 2013. Based on these PAD guidelines, the ABCDEF bundle was created. Research is lacking on how adherence to the ABCDEF bundle elements impacts specific populations such as trauma patients. This represents a significant gap for patients whose multisystem injuries and comorbidities add a higher level of complexity to their care and outcomes. The medical ICU at a large community hospital participated in a 2-year quality improvement project as part of the Society of Critical Care Medicine's ICU Liberation Collaborative. However the organization's trauma ICU (TICU) was excluded from the study. The purpose of this study was to conduct a baseline assessment of trauma patient records to determine which bundle elements were already being applied in the TICU, and if the resources required for implementing the full ABCDEF bundle would be beneficial to the TICU patient outcomes. Benchmark data from the organization's participation in the ICU Liberation Collaborative quality improvement project served as the primary source of evidence. Analysis revealed strengths and opportunities for improvement. Incidence of delirium remained unchanged and far below national averages, indicating the need for further investigation into practices to verify this finding. An opportunity was identified to expand implementation of certain elements of the ABCDEF bundle in the trauma ICU. There is an opportunity for nurses to take the lead in improving patient outcomes. With improved education, evidence-based assessment tools, and best practice guidelines, nurses can help decrease the incidence of delirium by as much as 30%.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, Sarasota, Florida.

Correspondence: Jennifer Sweeney, DNP, RN, CEN, TCRN, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 (

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2018 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.