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Supporting delirium prevention with the patient in mind

The need for delirium prevention


Delirium is a state of mental confusion that affects up to 80%1 of patients admitted to the ICU each year. It’s a terrifying experience for the patient –and for the family.


Reducing the number of delirium cases can help support hospitals in their efforts to improve clinical and economic outcomes and manage care in line with the Quadruple Aim.

Philips VitalMinds Leaflet

Consequences of delirium

ICU delirium can have a profound impact on patients, their families and healthcare costs.


Delirium increases mortality both in intensive care units and after discharge from the hospitall,2. Patients surviving delirium have a higher risk of permanent cognitive impairment such as dementia1and options for pharmacological treatment are limited3.


This condition now surpasses diabetes as a leading source of healthcare costs in the US.10

Delirium: A Risk Factor for Patients

Recommended by guidelines

Alert patients actively participating in their own healing process

More and more international delirium guidelines (such as the PAD guideline in the US, the German DAS guideline, and the NICE delirium guideline in the UK) postulate that patients in intensive care shall be awake, alert and free of pain, anxiety and delirium, to be able to participate in their healing process actively.4,5,6 This implies that sedation of patients should be minimized and they should be systematically monitored for analgesia, sedation, delirium, anxiety, stress, and sleep. Non-pharmacological measures are considered particularly effective in the prevention of delirium, and therefore recommended to be implemented for all critically ill patients.5

Avoiding delirium through non-pharmacological intervention bundle

Non-pharmacological interventions can be used to reduce stress, anxiety and delirium, and help patients to maintain their day–night rhythm. Keeping a clock and a calendar in sight, communication, daylight and providing visual aids and hearing aids, supports patient reorientation.5 Cognitive stimulation, distraction, early mobilization and the prompt removal of drains are also recommended. At nighttime, light and noise reduction is a key requirement. Effective multi-professional collaboration is important for the successful implementation of a delirium prevention and treatment strategy.7,8,9

Delirium Management with Philips VitalMinds


With VitalMinds , Philips is taking a preventive, multi-component approach to managing delirium. The aim is to support hospitals in reducing the incidence and severity of delirium in critically ill patients, thereby enhancing the recovery process and reducing length of stay.

Components developed by Philips as part of the VitalMinds delirium management bundle are based on international delirium guidelines 4,5,6.  Available solution components are Philips Ambience Analysis, a light and sound quick scan, Philips VitalSky aclinical light therapy system and Philips Delirium Management Maturity Assessment to help gain insights in the current maturity of delirium management.

graphical image of delirium
Vitalmind ambience analysis

Philips Ambience Analysis

Light and sound are essential factors in providing an ICU environment that is supportive of patient health and recovery, including the prevention of delirium 7,8. The Ambience Analysis service provides measurements of light and sound conditions in the ICU patient environment in a consistent and defined way over a period of one month. The insights gained with Ambience Analysis quick scan serve as a basis for improving and managing light and sound conditions for the patient environment.

Vitalmind ambience analysis

Philips Delirium Management Maturity Assessment

Assessing the level of maturity in delirium management is an important step towards achieving your delirium management goals.

The Philips Delirium Management Maturity Assessment service can help provide insights into the current status of implementation of delirium guidelines in your hospital. It helps to create a baseline for improvements and supports development of a successful delirium management program.

Personalized light therapy

Philips VitalSky

As one of the key components of the VitalMinds multi-component approach, Philips has developed the VitalSky medical system. VitalSky provides a clinical light therapy, to help prevent delirium by enhancing and synchronizing the circadian rhythm in critically ill patients. In addition to the clinical light therapy VitalSky supports patients with time orientation and provides a calming and pleasant environment. VitalSky also integrated three superior quality workplace lighting features, supporting efficient care delivery without disturbing the patients.

1 Ouimet et al., Intensive Care Med (2007) 33(1):66-73

2 Ely et al., JAMA (2004) 291(14):1753-62

3 Vardi et al., R I Med J (2013) 97(6):24-8

4 Barr et al., Crit Care Med. 2013 41(1):263-306

5 DAS Taskforce 2015, Ger Med Sci 2015;13: Doc19


7 Kamdar et al., Crit Care Med. 2013 41(3):800-9

8 Patel et al., Anaesthesia. 2014 69(6):540-9

9 Ely, Crit Care Med. 2017 45(2):321-330

10 Leslie et al., Arch Intern Med. (2008) 168(1):27-32

11 Lütz et al., Clin Health Promot 2016; 6(1):5-12

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