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Bart Sheehan

, and Thomas Jackson

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date: 26 February 2021

Confusion is a very common presentation in medical patients, especially in older people. It may, but does not always, indicate dementia. Delirium describes a typically brief, fluctuating, and transient state of confusion, which requires a vigorous and urgent hunt for the cause or causes. This is often, but not always, an infection or vascular event. The potential role of prescribed drugs in causing confusion should not be forgotten, and other causes of apparent confusion include depression. Making the diagnosis might take time, and in the meantime it is important to ensure that the physical and nursing arrangements for care keep the patient safe from harm.

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