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Delirium Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Delirium. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you noticed the delirium?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic. Delirium is an acute confusional state due to many causes e.g. infection, drug intoxication, alcohol withdrawal, liver failure, kidney failure, hypoxia (reduced oxygen levels in the blood), low blood sugar, stroke, heart attack or head injury. If the onset is chronic a diagnosis of dementia may be more likely.

  2. What are the symptoms of the delirium?

    Why: e.g. impaired conscious level with onset over hours or days, disorientation in time and/or place, unusually quite, drowsy, agitated, delusions, auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations.

  3. At what time of the day are the symptoms worse?

    Why: e.g. symptoms worse in the late afternoon and at night are typical of delirium.

  4. Was there a known precipitating factor to the delirium symptoms?

    Why: e.g. physical illness, recent surgery, starting a different medication, abstaining from alcohol.

  5. History of head injury?

    Why: may suggest subdural haematoma, extradural haematoma or concussion.

  6. Past psychiatric history?

    Why: e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, paranoid disorder - may be sometimes difficult to differentiate between delirium and these disorders if delusions and hallucinations are present.

  7. Medications?

    Why: certain medications may cause intoxication e.g. anticonvulsants, anticholinergics, anti-anxiety medications, opiates; or may cause delirium on drug withdrawal.

  8. Risk factors for stroke?

    Why: e.g. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, family history - can assess risk of multi-infarct dementia.

  9. Family history of dementia?

    Why: e.g. Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, stroke, heart attack.

  10. Alcohol history?

    Why: to assess chance of alcohol withdrawal, alcohol abuse, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, hepatic encephalopathy, subdural or extradural haematoma due to head injury.

  11. Illicit drug use history?

    Why: e.g. amphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP.

  12. Sexual history?

    Why: may determine risk of HIV and syphilis infection which may cause cognitive impairment with confusion.

  13. Possible poisoning?

    Why: e.g. carbon monoxide, chronic barbiturate intoxication, heavy metals such as mercury and manganese.

  14. Symptoms of dementia?

    Why: e.g. impaired memory, impaired judgement and thinking, impaired verbal fluency and impaired ability to perform complex tasks. Personality may change, impulse control may be lost and personal care deteriorates. If onset is chronic consider diagnosis of dementia.

  15. Symptoms of depression and anxiety?

    Why: Depression may exhibit many of the features of delirium and early dementia, especially memory impairment, slowed thinking and lack of spontaneity.

  16. Fever?

    Why: can suggest any infection that may cause delirium or meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess or brain hemorrhage.

  17. Symptoms of stroke?

    Why: e.g. limb weakness or paralysis, facial muscle weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech and swallow.

  18. Headache?

    Why: may suggest brain cancer or acute stroke.

  19. Psychotic symptoms?

    Why: e.g. delusions, hallucinations and disordered thinking - may suggest schizophrenia or bipolar disorder but these symptoms may also be present with delirium.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Delirium:

The following list of conditions have 'Delirium' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Delirium or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Delirium:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Delirium' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.

 

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