J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  1999 Dec;3(2):165-173.

Delirium and Death in Burn Patients under Intensive Care

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Chungnung Evangelical Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


This study was to estimate the prevalence of and identify the predisposing risk factors of delirium and to determine the effect of delirium on the prognosis, especially death in burn patients. METHOD: The study was completed by thorough examination of medical records, with additional confirmation, of the 245 patients who were admitted to the Burn ICU in Burn treatment center of Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital during last one year (Jan. 1. 1998-Dec. 31. 1998). Delirium was retrospectively diagnosed according to DSM-IV. Only when disturbance of consciousness and attention, cognitive dysfunction especially disorientation, or perceptual disturbance were observed, diagnosis of delirium were given. Final outcome such as death was discriminated through examination of medical records or question to those who knew the patient.
One year prevalence of delirium in burn patients is 34.4%. Statistically significant predisposing risk factors of delirium were five;Age 65 and over (OR=45.51, 95% CI:6.07-341.11), burn size over 60% of total body surface (OR=6.48, 95% CI:3.16-13.28), current psychiatric disorder (OR=6.81, 95% CI:1.42-32.57), current medical disease (OR=3.00, 95% CI:1.40-6.45), alcohol abuse (OR=3.17, 95% CI:1.07-9.43) Statistically significant deathrelated risk factors were three;burn size over 60% of total body surface (OR=4.58, 95% CI:2.00-10.46), delirium (OR=2.94, 95% CI:1.25-6.94), current psychiatric disorder (OR=4.09, 95% CI:1.05-15.87). Aging is not the death-related factor in this study.
Three factors, such as delirium, organic brain damage, and burn size over 60% of total body surface may predict higher risk of death in burn patients.


Delirium; Death; Prevalence; Burn; Risk factor
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