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Delirium is a medical condition characterized by new onset of inattention and confusion. Individuals with delirium may also experience hallucinations, illusions, disorientation, and memory problems. Common causes of delirium include acute medical illnesses such as urinary tract infections or pneumonia or an overburden of medications. Although delirium can occur in children and younger adults, older or medically ill populations are at higher risk for developing delirium. Common settings in which delirium occurs are inpatient medical and surgical units and nursing homes. People with brain disorders such as dementia or stroke are also at higher risk for developing delirium when they become medically ill or are exposed to certain medications. This entry discusses several aspects related to delirium, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and effect on ...

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