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July 2014

Delirium in the Pediatric Patient: On the Growing Awareness of Its Clinical Interdisciplinary Importance

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands
  • 2Koraalgroep, Sittard, the Netherlands
  • 3Mutsaersstichting Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, Venlo, the Netherlands
  • 4Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht, the Netherlands
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(7):595-596. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.125

Wisdom is more becoming viewed at distance than at hand.

Emily Dickinson, No. 1269 (circa 1873)1

“Delirium in the elderly patient” was the headline of the important article Lipowski wrote in 1989.2 It was the first landmark article in the midst of a slowly growing number of publications, dating back to 1968. The response to these first, largely conceptual, articles ignited a fast-growing number of research studies regarding all the positive correlations between the onset of delirium on the one hand and all kinds of negative patient outcomes—for example, regarding quality of life in the cardiac intensive care unit, morbidity, and mortality—on the other. With the passing of time, the knowledge developed that these findings not only apply to cardiac patients, but to all adult and elderly patients with critical illness.

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