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What causes sudden onset of delirium?

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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10441 Questions
Med Background: elderly male with COPD, pleural effusion, CCF (with pacemaker), hypoxia, type 2 diabetes, 2 TIAs in recent year, recent fall & small fracture (non ambulant), myeloproloferative disorder.
1) If someone with the above med problems has a sudden onset of delirium (which includes agitation, worsening dysarthria & confusion) then within what time frame should it be reported to a doctor? Why? Are there any serious possibilities that may need urgent medical attention?
Posted Wed, 20 Aug 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 38 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Needs medical attention if persists.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
A sudden onset of delirium can be due to psychological causes or renal or hepatic derangement. It can also happen during recovery from TIA. In case there is no recent history of TIA and the delirium is gradually increasing or is persistent for more than 48 hours then it needs to be reported to the treating physician and further investigations are needed to find the cause.
If the cause is not physchological then all the organic causes are serious and need an urgent medical attention.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes sudden onset of delirium? 7 minutes later
Thank you Dr Tayal, There have been no recent TIAs and the onset of delirium has been fairly sudden. What are the organic possibilities and how quickly would they need medical intervention?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Needs early intervention.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing again.
Organic possibilities include renal or hepatic failure; hypoglycemia; stroke etc. All these are the serious causes and will need an intervention as soon as possible.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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