Clinical identification of cognitive impairment in ICU survivors: insights for intensivists

Intensive Care Med. 2004 Nov;30(11):1997-2008. doi: 10.1007/s00134-004-2418-y. Epub 2004 Oct 2.


Background: A growing body of research has demonstrated the presence of ongoing cognitive impairment in large numbers of ICU survivors.

Objective: This review offers a practical framework for practicing intensivists and those following patients after their ICU stay for the identification of cognitive impairment in ICU survivors.

Conclusions: Early detection of cognitive impairment in critically ill patients is an important and achievable goal, but overt cognitive impairment remains unrecognized in most cases. However, it can be identified by objective (test scores) or subjective evidence (clinical judgment, patient observation, family interaction).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Critical Illness*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Survivors