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Delirium 

Delirium
Chapter:
Delirium
Author(s):

Jenny Hogg

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199644957.003.0040
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date: 25 November 2017

Delirium (acute confusional state) is a common condition affecting between ten and thirty percent of a general hospital inpatient population. The diagnosis is suspected when there is an acute onset of confusion in the presence of a physical precipitant. Pre-existing dementia, advancing age, previous delirium and increasing illness severity favour the development of delirium. The diagnosis of delirium is solely clinical and can be quickly arrived at using assessment tools such as the cognitive Assessment Method (CAM). Historical perspectives, diagnosis, the use of assessment tools, differential diagnosis, communication with patients and relatives, prevention, prognosis, and treatment are discussed in this chapter, along with the pathophysiology of this common condition

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