BREAKING NEWS
  Oct 09, 2018
What is Delirium?
What is Delirium?
  Oct 09, 2018

Delirium is fairly common among hospitalized patients, with around 1 in 10 having a period of delirium. Delirium is more common among older people, those with memory problems, in cases of dementia, after surgery, after brain injury and in those with poor hearing or vision.
Some of the most common causes of delirium include:

  • Infection of the bladder, chest or brain
  • Fever
  • Medication side effect
  • Dehydration
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Cessation of drug or alcohol use
  • Major surgery
  • Epilepsy
  • Terminal illness

Treatment

If a person develops confusion out of the blue, urgent medical attention should be sought. Often, the patient is too confused to tell the doctors about their condition and history is often taken from a family member or someone who knows the patient well.

Treatment is aimed at correcting the underlying cause. For example, infection would be treated with antibiotics.

Sedatives can worsen delirium and should only be given in cases where:

  • The patients is extremely anxious
  • The patient has suddenly withdrawn from alcohol or drugs
  • When the patient is at risk of endangering themselves or others
  • In order to calm someone down enough for them to receive treatment