April 11, 2019

New care pathway reduces delirium, readmissions for frail elderly trauma patients

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

A new interdisciplinary care protocol for frail elderly trauma patients significantly decreased delirium and 30-day readmission risk in this study.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, compared the care of 125 patients who were treated before the pathway was implemented with 144 patients after the pathway was in place for 6 months.

Patients who were managed according to the pathway had a:

  • 9% less risk for delirium
  • 3% reduced risk for mortality
  • 7% lower risk for readmission.

Implementing pathways that standardize care for these vulnerable patients could improve their outcomes after trauma, the researchers note. The basic framework relies on getting patients mobile and managing medications, nutrition, and communication with families.


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