Thursday, July 27, 2017 18:49

Delirium

Posted by on Thursday, October 15, 2009, 11:23
This news item was posted in Cognitive Disorders category and has 0 Comments so far.

The term “delirious” conjures up the image of someone who is wild and out of control. This is extremely misleading. Although some people with Delirium do become temporarily agitated and difficult to contain, there are many other many others who develop confusion and disorientation in a quiet, unobtrusive way that will be missed unless Delirium is considered as a possible reason for their changed behavior.

The experience of Delirium is like being in a fuzzy dream or a dense fog that is clouding your awareness of the outside world. You lose the ability to keep track of what is going on the feel frightened, agitated, or even combative. You may become disoriented and feel confused as to where you are, the time of day, the season of year, who the people are around you, or even who you are.

Delirium is usually a short term problem that arises suddenly. Within days, it either disappears completely with no permanent damage or more tragically may be a precursor to irreversible Dementia, Amnestic Disorder or even death. Delirium is one of the few problems which Delirium treatment is a medical, nut just a psychiatric, emergency.

You have Delirium if:

–  Your awareness of the external environment has been seriously compromised and you are unable to pay attention to or keep up with what is goig on around you.

–  You have at least one additional and serious problem in the way your mind is working.

–  Your symptoms have started up abruptly and fluctuate during the day.

Causes of Delirium

Many medical illnesses can upset brain functioning and cause delirium. These include strokes, heart failure, head trauma, low blood sugar, infections, vitamin deficiencies. Some patients develop Delirium after surgery due to the lingering effects of anesthesia, blood clots, and post operative infections or some combination of these

. People admitted to a hospital often have many problems that in combination can lead to Delirium. They must have quite a serious medical illness or they wouldn’t be hospitalized in the first place. They are often also receiving hefty doses of medication often several different ones, all of which have the potential to cause confusion.

How to cure Delirium.

Delirium is a medical emergency that requires immediate efforts at diagnosis and treatment. More often that not a combination of factors is involved each of which must be addresses in order to bring the Delirium under control and prevent further brain damage. If the problem is caused by a substance intoxication or a medication side effects, the substance should be stopped or the medication reduced under close medical supervision.

Substance withdrawal symptoms need to be cured  in a detoxification program hospital. If the problem is infection, it should be cured aggressively with the appropriate antibiotic or antiviral medication. Dehydration and malnutrition must be reversed. And always consider the possibility of head trauma.

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