Stop the Confusion! Understanding Delirium in Pediatric Oncology Patients (207)

4:45 – 5:45 pm Thursday, September 13
1CH  Chronic and critically ill pediatric patients are at risk of developing delirium during a prolonged hospitalization. Previous studies concluded pediatric patients are more susceptible to delirium than adults, and those with cancer are at an even greater risk. Current research is focused on effectively preventing and treating delirium in children to avoid long-term sequelae.
Hospitalized pediatric oncology patients presenting with signs and symptoms of delirium are often overlooked, dismissed, or misdiagnosed. All pediatric caregivers should have a working understanding of what delirium is, including how to prevent, diagnose, and treat delirium. Length of hospital stays and use of certain medications can make prevention more challenging in the pediatric oncology patient. Through the use of scoring tools such as CAP-D, pediatric nurses are trained to quickly identify patients with symptoms of delirium, allowing for prompt assessment and intervention by the medical team and guidance from Psychiatry. This education on delirium is imperative for all involved in caring for pediatric patients, particularly pediatric oncology, to aid in facilitating better patient outcomes.
Meghan Sturhahn, MSN CPNP-AC CPHON®