Visit StopPain.org Visit StopPain.org
Net of Care, Information and Resources for Caregivers
Caregiving Find Help E-Newsletter Caregiver Resource Directory
magnifying glass  
Print This Page

Symptom Management

Confusion

Confusion is an aspect of delirium, which is common, especially in patients with advanced disease. Patients with a progressive medical disease often develop confusion or drowsiness before death.

Delirium can be caused by:

Complications of the disease (e.g., organ failure)
Medications
Nutritional deficiencies
Other disorders that affect the brain

Some signs of delirium include:

Memory impairment or confusion
Change in mood
Illusions or hallucinations
Agitation
Disturbance in the sleep/wake cycle
Fluctuating level of consciousness
Disorientation to place, time, and/or person

Management of delirium can include:

Medications (e.g., haloperidol, methotrimeprazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine)
General support for and communication with the patient and family
Encouraging the family's interaction with the patient
Any treatment that can help reverse the underlying cause

 

Beth Israel - Continuum Health Partners Logo bullet Home bullet Contact Us bullet Privacy Policy bullet Disclaimer bullet Site Map
The Family Caregiver Program and NetofCare.org are generously supported by the Altman Foundation.
©2003-2005 Continuum Health Partners, Inc.