Delirium (previously termed ‘acute confusional state’) is a very rapid decline in brain function, which involves decreased ability to concentrate, sleepiness, agitation, and sometimes hallucinations and/or altered beliefs. Delirium develops over hours or days.
Most commonly caused by acute illnesses (peripheral or brain), injuries (e.g. hip fracture), surgery, psychological stress (e.g. change in setting), or drug adverse effects or withdrawal, anyone can get delirium. Older age and dementia greatly increase a person’s chance of becoming delirious.
As a health professional, you can play a role in helping to “Suspect, Spot and Stop Delirium” ahead of this World Awareness Day. Click here to watch a short animation to find out how.