Delirium

Delirium is defined as acute Confusion, with some degree of Agitation.ย  It’s always a medical (or psychiatric) emergency.ย  There are countless causes, which must be diagnosed by lab tests & images (x-rays, etc.) in an E.R.ย  One way to remember all the possible causes to seek out, is by the mnemonic “VOWEL TIPS” (“vowel” = A, E, I, O, U; plus the letters T, I, P, S):

Aย  —ย  Alcohol: intoxication (drunk), or withdrawal, including DT’s

Eย  —ย  Epilepsy (seizures from any cause) or Encephalopathy (brain derangements)

I ย ย —ย  Insulin:ย  Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), or Hyperglycemia (high sugar)

Oย  —ย  Opiates:ย  Drug or medication ingestion

Uย  —ย  Uremia (kidney failure), and Other Metabolic Conditions
xxxxxxx(a hodgepodge of possibilities including kidney failure, liver failure, thyroid crisis,
xxxxxxxadrenal gland failure, too much or too little sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc.)

Tย  —ย  Trauma (esp. head trauma) or Tumor (brain)

Iย ย  —ย  Infectionย  (meningitis, pneumonia, sepsis, etc. etc.)

Pย  —ย  Psychiatric

Sย  —ย  Stroke, Shock, Suffocation (not enough oxygen, due to heart or lung disease)

As you can see, there are lots of life-threatening diseases to sort through.

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