Delirium: pathophysiology, recognition, prevention and treatment

TitleDelirium: pathophysiology, recognition, prevention and treatment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsRabinowitz T., Murphy K.M, Nagle K.J, Bodor C.I, Kennedy S.M, Hirdes J.P
JournalExpert Rev Neurother
Date PublishedMay
ISBN Number1744-8360 (Electronic)<br/>1473-7175 (Linking)
Accession Number19810902

Delirium, a clinical syndrome characterized by the acute onset of confusion, indicates that there is a disruption in physiological equilibrium that may lead to death unless quick and appropriate action is taken. Despite its frequent appearance, delirium often goes unrecognized, undetected and untreated, leading to poorer outcomes including longer lengths of hospitalization, persistent deficits in cognitive function and the need for nursing home placement following acute treatment. Prevention and treatment strategies do not need to be complex or expensive, but require well co-ordinated interventions from multiple disciplines including nursing, psychiatry, neurology and primary care, as well as the co-operation and significant effort of family and friends who know the affected individual well.