Delirium is sudden severe confusion and rapid changes in brain function that occur with physical or mental illness.
Acute confusional state; Acute brain syndrome
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Delirium is most often caused by physical or mental illness and is usually temporary and reversible. Many disorders cause delirium, including conditions that deprive the brain of oxygen or other substances.
Treating the conditions that cause delirium can reduce its risk. In hospitalized patients, avoiding sedatives, staying still (immobilization), and bladder catheters, and using reality orientation programs will reduce the risk of delirium in those at high risk.
Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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