Breaking through delirium

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wdlove, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Hospitals target a common yet serious complication among elderly patients

    By Alice Dembner, Globe Staff *|* July 6, 2004

    Sumner Kessler, a 76-year-old Brookline resident, came through spinal surgery with few problems last month. But two days after the operation, as he recuperated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a fog began to enclose his mind.

    He thought it was December, not June. He didn't recognize his wife. Although he was bedridden, the salesman wanted to phone a store in Natick to see if he could make a sales call that afternoon.

    Kessler was suffering from delirium, a complication of hospitalization far more common than bedsores or falls among elderly patients but often overlooked or confused with dementia. Millions of hospitalized seniors each year develop the sudden, serious mental confusion that typically lengthens their hospital stay, slows their recovery, and can hasten their death.

    ''It's one of the biggest problems older people can run into in the hospital," said Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of clinical geriatrics at Beth Israel.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    This one is certainly timely for me, as my generally clear-headed but bedridden grandmother has spent the past two weeks ranting violently and talking to people who've been dead for 50 years. It's really sad to see, particularly since doctor's often don't seem to be sure what causes it, so I'd certainly like to see more hospitals look into what might cause or prevent delirium in the elderly.
  3. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    The preventative items mentioned in the article would be the preferable method. It would be much easier prevent their delirium in the first place. I know form experience that a patient getting there dentures, glasses, and hearing aid as soon as possible makes a big difference in their successful recovery.

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