UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Geriatrics

Title: delirium in the elderly

Keywords: delirium, elderly (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/29/2009 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 1/18/2022)
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Up to 10% of elderly patients in the ED meet criteria for acute delirium, though misdiagnosis rates are very common.
The most common cause of delirium in the elderly, overall, is medication effects. Other common causes are infections (UTIs most common), CNS abnormalities, cardiovascular abnormalities, electrolyte/metabolic abnormalities, and temperature abnormalities (fever or hypothermia).