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  1. Neitzel, Jennifer RN, APRN-BC
  2. Sendelbach, Sue PhD, RN, CCNS, FAHA
  3. Larson, Linda R. RN


Published incidence of delirium in orthopaedic patients ranges from 5.1% to 61%. Delirium may present before or after the patient undergoes the surgical procedure and has demonstrated increased risk, including mortality. Yet, delirium goes unrecognized by both physicians and nurses. This article focuses on the literature on delirium in the orthopaedic patient, including incidence, how to identify those patients at risk, patient outcomes, nonpharmacological and pharmacological interventions, and provides an example of how one tertiary care hospital implemented a prevention and management program of delirium in orthopaedic patients.