Supporting delirium prevention with the patient in mind

Philips VitalMinds Leaflet

Unmet need in intensive care units

Up to 80 percent of patients in intensive care units are affected by delirium, an acute brain dysfunction associated with core symptoms such as hallucinations, confusion, and disorientation.
1 Other patients become lethargic and lose all interest in the environment around them. Delirium increases mortality both in intensive care units and after discharge from the hospital.1,2 Options for pharmacological treatment are limited.3

Delirium: A Risk Factor for Patients

Recommended by guidelines

Alert patients actively participating in their own healing process

More and more international delirium guidelines (such as the PAD guideline in the US, the German DAS guideline, and the NICE delirium guideline in the UK) postulate that patients in intensive care shall be awake, alert and free of pain, anxiety and delirium, to be able to participate in their healing process actively.4,5,6 This implies that sedation of patients should be minimized and they should be systematically monitored for analgesia, sedation, delirium, anxiety, stress, and sleep. Non-pharmacological measures are considered particularly effective in the prevention of delirium, and therefore recommended to be implemented for all critically ill patients.5

Avoiding delirium through non-pharmacological intervention bundle

Non-pharmacological interventions can be used to reduce stress, anxiety and delirium, and help patients to maintain their day–night rhythm. Keeping a clock and a calendar in sight, communication, daylight and providing visual aids and hearing aids, supports patient reorientation.5 Cognitive stimulation, distraction, early mobilization and the prompt removal of drains are also recommended. At nighttime, light and noise reduction is a key requirement. Effective multi-professional collaboration is important for the successful implementation of a delirium prevention and treatment strategy.7,8,9

Delirium Management with Philips VitalMinds


With VitalMinds, Philips is taking a preventive, multi-component approach to managing delirium. The aim is to support hospitals in reducing the incidence and severity of delirium in critically ill patients, thereby enhancing the recovery process and reducing length of stay.

Components developed by Philips as part of the VitalMinds delirium management bundle are based on international delirium guidelines 4,5,6 and include light and sound management, a personalized light therapy system to provide circadian-effective lighting, and employee training and consulting services for delirium management.

Vitalmind ambience analysis

Philips VitalMinds Ambience Analysis

Light and sound are essential factors in providing an ICU environment that is supportive of patient health and recovery, including the prevention of delirium. 7,8 The VitalMinds Ambience Analysis service provides measurements of light and sound conditions in the ICU patient environment in a consistent and defined way over period of one month. The insights gained with Ambience Analysis quick scan serve as a basis for improving and managing light and sound conditions for the patient environment.

Personalized light therapy

Philips VitalSky: Personalized light therapy

As one of the key components of this multi-component approach, Philips has developed the VitalSky luminous ceiling. VitalSky is a personalized light therapy system, which encourages a natural sleep–wake rhythm for patients in the intensive care unit. VitalSky provides circadian-effective lighting via an automated day‑night program.11 Light settings and programs are optimized to provide high light levels during daytime and minimized light levels during nighttime to have the right support for patients’ sleep-wake rhythm.

1 Ouimet et al., Intensive Care Med (2007) 33(1):66-73

2 Ely et al., JAMA (2004) 291(14):1753-62

3 Vardi et al., R I Med J (2013) 97(6):24-8

4 Barr et al., Crit Care Med. 2013 41(1):263-306

5 DAS Taskforce 2015, Ger Med Sci 2015;13: Doc19


7 Kamdar et al., Crit Care Med. 2013 41(3):800-9

8 Patel et al., Anaesthesia. 2014 69(6):540-9

9 Ely, Crit Care Med. 2017 45(2):321-330

10 Leslie et al., Arch Intern Med. (2008) 168(1):27-32

11 Lütz et al., Clin Health Promot 2016; 6(1):5-12


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