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All about delirium causes of delirium risk factors for delirium symptoms of delirium diagnosis of delirium treatment for delirium prevention of delirium

How is delirium diagnosed?

Delirium is a clinical diagnosis. Diagnosis is based on observed changes in mental status that are related to some underlying medical disturbance. Delirium is diagnosed through the medical history and recognition of symptoms during mental status examination. The most important part of diagnosis is determining the cause of the delirium. Tests may

include blood and urine analysis for levels of drugs, fluids, electrolytes, and blood gases, and to test for infection; lumbar puncture ("spinal tap") to test for central nervous system infection; x ray, computed tomography scans (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to look for tumors, hemorrhage, or other brain abnormality; thyroid tests; electroencephalography (EEG); electrocardiography (ECG); and possibly others as dictated by the likely cause.

Several formal instruments have been developed to help diagnose and monitor the clinical course of delirium: the Clinical Assessment of Confusion; the Delirium Symptom Inventory; and the Delirium Rating Scale. These instruments are generally used for research. Standard psychiatric and medical examinations are usually sufficient to diagnose and evaluate delirium.

More information on delirium

What is delirium? - Delirium is a syndrome characterized by the rapid onset of variable and fluctuating changes in mental status caused by physiologic consequences of a medical disturbance.
What causes delirium? - There are a large number of possible causes of delirium. Metabolic disorders are the single most common cause. Drug intoxication is another cause.
What're the risk factors for delirium? - Risk factors include advanced cancer or other serious illness, having more than one disease, older age, previous mental disorder.
What're the symptoms of delirium? - The symptoms of delirium include a clouding of awareness and consciousness, confusion, hallucinations, memory deficits, sleep disturbances.
How is delirium diagnosed? - Delirium is a clinical diagnosis. Diagnosis is based on observed changes in mental status that are related to some underlying medical disturbance.
What's the treatment for delirium? - Treatment of delirium begins with recognizing and treating the underlying cause. Delirium itself is managed by reducing disturbing stimuli.
How to prevent delirium? - Prevention of delirium is focused on treating or avoiding its underlying causes. The most preventable forms are those induced by drugs.
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