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A 42-year-old member asked:

can docs explain what does the word delirium mean?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Maureen Nash
Geriatric Psychiatry 24 years experience
Acutely confused: Delirium usually refers to a severe increase in confusion with behavior changes. It most often occurs with severe illness or drug overdose or withdrawal. It is also called encephalopathy or ICU psychosis. There are often agitation, hallucinations, paranoia or apathy accompanying it. Sleep disturbance is a key feature.
Dr. Adam Lewis
Dr. Adam Lewis commented
Neurosurgery 35 years experience
Infections (usually urinary tract) and alcohol/medication withdrawal can cause delirium.
May 25, 2014
Dr. Ruth Seaman
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Off track: Lethargus and Phrenitus are the ancient terms. Precipitants initiate a cascade of neurochemical and metabolic brain events that disturb the normal functioning of the brain. "Brain insufficiency or failure" akin to heart failure. Not cell death, but cell strain. Brain cells can no longer perform their normal function but are not so taxed that they are actively dying.

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A 24-year-old member asked:

What are the complications of delirium?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Maureen Nash
Geriatric Psychiatry 24 years experience
It is serious: And it can lead to temporary or permanent loss of functioning and dementia if not recognized and treated. One study shows that if symptoms do not resolve in 2 weeks there is a permanent loss of functioning in older adults.
A 26-year-old member asked:

Does delirium contribute to poor hospital outcomes?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Roosth
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Absolutely.: I am giving the simple answer here. Research has shown that delirum during a hospital stay is associated with a significant risk of both immediate and post hospital stay complications. The good news is that if recognized, delirium is usually treatable. Physicians, hospitals and medical educators are now paying much attention to this complex problem.
A 23-year-old member asked:

What are some common treatments for delirium?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Roosth
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
It varies a lot: Frequent redirection and orientation. Ensureing adequate hydration. Reducing overstimulation. Special sense evaluation such as making sure patients have their teeth, hearing aids. Avoiding drugs known to be associated with delirium. Appropriate drug therapy with antipsychotics as first line, especially haloperidol.
A 32-year-old member asked:

What is delirium nocturnum?

4 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Internal Medicine 50 years experience
Going nuts at night.: Delirium is a term used for abrupt onset of a confused, disoriented, psychotic (out of touch with reality) state. It is usually short lived, but depending on what kind of delirium, it could be very serious, even fatal (such as delirium tremens caused by abrupt untreated alcohol withdrawal). D. Nocturum is also called sun downing, where certain people develop delirium around sundown. Needs doc.
A 35-year-old member asked:

What causes someone to have acute delirium?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Maureen Nash
Geriatric Psychiatry 24 years experience
An illness: Delirium is a syndrome that involves confusion, poor attention, and other symptoms. It is most often seen in seeverely ill people who are hospitalized. Drug use and drug withdrawl can also cause it. People with dementia and other brain illnesses are at highest risk.

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Last updated Jul 9, 2014

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