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The Confusion Assessment method for the ICU (CAM-ICU)

Leanne Boehm, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC
Brenda T Pun, DNP, RN
Joanna Stollings, PharmD, FCCM, BCPS, BCCCP


Medical Professional Education

Media Originally for:

Nurses and/or Other Critical Care Medical Professionals


The Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) was created in 1990, and it was intended to be a bedside assessment tool usable by non-psychiatrists by Dr. Sharon Inouye to assess for delirium.6 The CAM-ICU is an adaptation of this tool for use in ICU patients (e.g., critically ill patients on or off the ventilator). Delirium is defined in terms of four diagnostic features, and is deemed positive when Feature 1 and Feature 2 and either Feature 3 or 4 are present (see CAM-ICU schematic on
next page). The CAM-ICU is one of the recommended ICU delirium screening tools.

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