Delirium/Acute Confusion

Description of Behavior

Core features of delirium include acute and fluctuating course, inattention, disorganized thinking and change in level of consciousness (hyper-alert, drowsy, or coma). Other symptoms may include emotional labiality, hallucinations, delusions, psychomotor agitation (restlessness), psychomotor retardation (withdrawn), sleep disorder, including insomnia, hyper-somnolence, and sleep cycle disturbance, inappropriate behavior, poor postural control, and decline or low performance of self-care activities.

Why behavior might occur

We do not know the exact cause of delirium but it typically involves a vulnerable patient and a noxious insult such as surgery, infection, or adverse medication effects. Dementia and increasing age are the strongest risk factors.

How to approach the person who is delirious and specific things to try to reduce delirium

Specific things to try to reduce delirium