World delirium day 2017….


Straight off a weekend of on call I went into prep mode for World Delirium Day (Wednesday 15th March). The idea of doing a day of global awareness had been talked about for a while but only in the past month or so had it really become a reality. We at the Scottish Delirium Association were keen to be involved.

We’d done a similar social media campaign for one of our meetings in June 2016.  Myself, Ajay Macharouthu, Alasdair MacLullich and Karen Goudie began a week of tweeting and FB posting which culminated in the live broadcast of the SDA conference via Periscope.  I think we were all a bit bordering on delirium ourselves by the end of it. However anything to raise awareness in delirium can only be good thing.

The hub of World Delirium was http://www.iDelirium.org. Using #WDD2017 social media was again used as the driver to advertise and influence. During my weekend on call when I wasn’t seeing patients, I was loading up tweets and FB posts, writing a piece for our Comms department, ordering up more resources to share (thank you lovely OPAC!) and generally trying to do my bit.

Ironically on the day itself I was focused on another aspect of brain dysfunction.  We’d had a stroke simulation day in the diary for months and wasn’t one I was about to cancel.  Instead everyone got a delirium lanyard and a reminder about what else the brain does.

As the day went on my phone was constantly lighting up either with SDA tweets and FB posts as well as my own twitter feed.  My multi tasking brain was kept active until well into the night.

Similar to last year I did have a sense that we need to be moving on from merely raising awareness.  We need something more tangible to show for it.  This has also been the view of some of my delirium education colleagues.  On the back of this we have been developing a sister website to iDelirium to focus purely on education.  The www.thinkdelirium.com was launched to provide information for both healthcare providers as well as patients, families and carers.  More importantly it is a one stop shop to share educational tools such as slide shares, simulation, videos as well as updating on the latest research and delirium meetings.  It’s still under construction but we’re all pretty excited to be able to provide resources to those who are looking to not only learn but educate others about delirium.

We have also submitted an application to develop a MOOCS (Massive open online course) which, if approved, will be the first of its kind in delirium education.

And finally the undergraduate work that myself, James Fisher and Andy Teodorczuk have been writing for the past year looks close to fruition. As does the undergraduate nursing education work.

Events like #WDD2017 are fantastic to raise awareness but I have a sense that people want more.  People are no longer content knowing what it is, they want the skills to know how manage it. We need more research to help us better understand delirium so we can develop new management strategies and education tools.

Like a lot of conditions in medicine while we may not be able to entirely eradicate it we will have the power to control it and that’s a pretty worthy aspiration of any delirium superhero…..



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