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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:
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: