Saturday, 15 February 2014

Clinical guidelines for delirium

Delirium (sometimes called 'acute confusional state') is a common clinical syndrome characterised by disturbed consciousness, cognitive function or perception, which has an acute onset and fluctuating course. It usually develops over 1–2 days. It is a serious condition that is associated with poor outcomes. However, it can be prevented and treated if dealt with urgently. A person may already have delirium when they present to hospital or long-term care or it may develop during a hospital admission or residential stay in long-term care. Delirium can be hypoactive or hyperactive but some people show signs of both (mixed). People with hyperactive delirium have heightened arousal and can be restless, agitated and aggressive. People with hypoactive delirium become withdrawn, quiet and sleepy. Hypoactive and mixed delirium can be more difficult to recognise.

Guidelines for diagnosis, prevention and management of delirium here.

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