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  1. Medical Service

    Head & Neck Surgery

    The Brooklyn Hospital Center's Division of Head and Neck Surgery manages the diagnosis and surgical treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck. Staffed by a team of highly capable sur ...

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    Otolaryngology

    mon Conditions and Services Head and neck infections, cysts, lesions, masses all ... cer papillomas spasmodic dysphonia throat infections vocal fold nodules Head ...

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    Pediatric Surgery

    infections congenital anomalies and tumors of the head, neck, chest, abd ...

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    Plastic Surgery

    years of specialty training in head and neck surgery and facial pla ... of the head and neck provides the facial plastic surgeon with a strong foc ...

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    Allergy & Immunology

    rrhea, headache, runny nose itching of the nose, mouth, throat, skin, or any ...

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    Neurology

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  7. Medical Service

    Nuclear Medicine

    imaging equipment including one single-head and three dual-head gamma cam ...

  8. Medical Service

    Pediatric Genetics

    lude: unexplained developmental/speech delays or mental retardation small head siz ...

  9. Physician

    Heather MacAdam

    Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician The Brooklyn Hospital Center 121 DeKalb Avenue Brooklyn NY 11201 Specialty:  Pediatric Emergency Medicine Medical School:  University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Internship:  Jackson Memorial Hospital Residenc ...

  10. Medical Service

    Speech & Hearing

    rehabilitation for head and neck cancer patients Voice disorders (vocal nod ...

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    Cancer Care

    cer, but being aware of your body and seeking medical care when you start to notice ...

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    tent above is based on Adam Health Content, for  more details related to  ... .599.6200   HEALTH RESOURCES Wellness for Life Club   What is Your  BODY MASS IND ...

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    Cared For — Body and Mind

    When I woke up in the middle of the night with a very painful "charley horse" in my calf after a trip to Washington DC, I thought nothing of it. I just figured I had strained it from the active day, no big deal. But the pain lingered on, intensi ...

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  10. Physician

    Heather MacAdam

    Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician The Brooklyn Hospital Center 121 DeKalb Avenue Brooklyn NY 11201 Specialty:  Pediatric Emergency Medicine Medical School:  University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Internship:  Jackson Memorial Hospital Residenc ...

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Delirium

Definition

Delirium is sudden severe confusion due to rapid changes in brain function that occur with physical or mental illness.

Alternative Names

Acute confusional state; Acute brain syndrome

Causes

Delirium is most often caused by physical or mental illness, and is usually temporary and reversible. Many disorders cause delirium. Often, the conditions are ones that do not allow the brain to get oxygen or other substances.

Causes include:

Symptoms

Delirium involves a quick change between mental states (for example, from lethargy to agitation and back to lethargy).

Symptoms include:

Exams and Tests

The following tests may have abnormal results:

The following tests may also be done:

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to control or reverse the cause of the symptoms. Treatment depends on the condition causing delirium. The person may need to stay in the hospital for a short time.

Stopping or changing medications that worsen confusion, or that are not necessary, may improve mental function. After asking about your medical history, your doctor will discuss medicines and substances that can worsen confusion, such as alcohol.

Disorders that contribute to confusion should be treated. These may include:

Treating medical and mental disorders often greatly improves mental function.

Medicines may be needed to control aggressive or agitated behaviors. These are usually started at very low dosages and adjusted as needed.

Some people with delirium may benefit from hearing aids, glasses, or cataract surgery.

Other treatments that may be helpful:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Acute conditions that cause delirium may occur with chronic disorders that cause dementia. Acute brain syndromes may be reversible by treating the cause.

Delirium often lasts about 1 week. It may take several weeks for mental function to return to normal . Full recovery is common, but depends on the underlying cause of the delirium.

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if there is a rapid change in mental status.

Prevention

Treating the conditions that cause delirium can reduce its risk. In hospitalized patients, avoiding sedatives, prompt treatment of metabolic disorders and infections, and using reality orientation programs will reduce the risk of delirium in those at high risk.

References

Mendez MF, Kremen SA. Delirium. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 4.

Smith JP, Seirafi J. Delirium and dementia. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al., eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 104.



Review Date: 2/10/2014
Reviewed By: Joseph V. Campellone, M.D., Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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  1. Medical Service

    Orthopaedic Services

    of the foot, knee, shoulder, hip, hand or other joints. We also treat bone ... gery of the Foot, Ankle, Knee and Shoulder Cartilage and Tendon Repair Inpatient ... e Meniscus Tears Torn ACL and Other Ligament Tears Foot and Ankle Achilles ...

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    Podiatry

    The Surgical Division of Podiatry offers quality, compassionate health care and state-of-the-art therapies to treat a wide range of foot and ankle disorders. Conditions Treated ingrown toenails ankle sprains ...

  3. Medical Service

    Geriatrics

    entia, Depression, Memory Loss Urinary and Bowel Incontinence Foot Ulcers and Other Slow Healing ...

  4. Physician

    Heather MacAdam

    Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician The Brooklyn Hospital Center 121 DeKalb Avenue Brooklyn NY 11201 Specialty:  Pediatric Emergency Medicine Medical School:  University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Internship:  Jackson Memorial Hospital Residenc ...

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    Healthy Back 2 School Fair!

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