CHAPTER 3

 

DELIRIUM

 

 

 

Delirium presents with clouding of consciousness (impaired awareness), impaired attention, and global cognitive deficit. The syndrome develops as an acute episode over a short period, tends to fluctuate during the course of the day, and usually resolves within days. It is etiologically related to a general medical condition or substance intoxication or withdrawal, with evidence from history, physical examination, and/or laboratory findings. The confusional state is often associated with illusions, hallucinations, fleeting delusions, and bizarre behavior due to the patient's psychotic experiences and failure to comprehend his or her environment. Affect is variable, often expressing fear and anxiety. Behavior may vary ...

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