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A 42-year-old member asked:

how is delirium diagnosed?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lawrence Smith
Clinical Psychology 30 years experience
Thorough evaluation : Delirium is diagnosed by a doctor after careful evaluation of the patient, often with input of involved family members or caregivers. The doctor will evaluate the symptoms of disturbance of consciousness and cognition and consider the time course and presence of other factors such as substance intoxication, medication use, fever, and other general medical problems.
Dr. Maureen Nash
Geriatric Psychiatry 24 years experience
History and exam: Delirium is underdiagnosed especially in older adults. Family and friends can alert medical personell that there has been a drastic change in somone. There are fluctuations in attention as well as changes in sleep wake cycle and often severe confusion.
Dr. Ruth Seaman
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Clinically: We really do not need an eeg to diagnose delirium. In the 10, 000 or so patients i've treated for delirium, i used an eeg no more than 10 times, mostly looking for clues to potential delirium precipitants in atypical cases. We do have some rating scales as well, the cam and the drs-98-r which lead the pack.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Delirium: Delirium is a clinical diagnosis, usually made in the context of other underlying medical conditions. Mental status changes within hours to days from normal waking to confusion ; reduced awareness of the environment. Activity level can be agitated to stuporous, even progressing to coma if the cause is not found and addressed. Multiple assessment scales exist also: http://tinyurl.Com/nyh77jo.
Dr. Eric Weisman
Neurology 36 years experience
Two things to be mindful of.......with delerium the level of arrousal fluctuates and the condition is most often reversible if the the cause is identified and addressed.
Apr 25, 2014
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Provided original answer
Thank you, Dr. Weisman.
Apr 26, 2014

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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 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.
A 53-year-old male asked:

Why do so few pcps diagnose the often permanenteffects of icu delirium after an icu stay? For three years, i described icu delirium symptoms to doctors but no one diagnosed it.

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Not sure: They may have wanted to see symptoms in person before making a diagnosis. In other words, if you were the patient they may want independent verification. Just a thought.

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