Navigation Links
Hospital study finds connection between dementia, delirium and declining health

More than half of all patients with pre-existing dementia will experience delirium while hospitalized. Failing to detect and treat their delirium early leads to a faster decline of both their physical and mental health, according to health researchers.

"This study is important, as delirium is often overlooked and minimized in the hospital setting, especially in persons with dementia," said Donna M. Fick, Distinguished Professor of Nursing at Penn State and principal investigator for this study. "And it illustrates that delirium is deadly, costly and impacts patient functioning."

The researchers followed 139 hospitalized adults, ages 65 and older, with dementia and found that the patients who developed delirium had a 25 percent chance of dying within 30 days, as reported in the current issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Dementia is an irreversible, progressive condition that affects cognitive and physical function. Symptoms usually occur over months to years and can include memory loss, inability to solve simple problems, difficulties with language and thinking, personality and behavior changes and other mental problems.

Delirium, on the other hand, is a reversible cognitive condition that comes on quickly and if caught and treated early can be resolved. Many of the symptoms of delirium may appear similar to dementia, but signs such as marked inattention and sleepiness or hyperactivity can help differentiate delirium from dementia.

Fick and colleagues focused on this combination of disorders, known as delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD), in this study. The researchers found a 32 percent incidence of new delirium in the hospitalized patients with dementia. These patients stayed in the hospital about four days longer than patients without delirium, and also had a reduced level of physical and mental ability when they left the hospital and at follow-up visits one month later. Additionally, patients with DSD were more likely to have died a month after their hospital stay.

Previous studies have found the cost of delirious episodes rivals those for diabetes and heart disease. Decreasing the length of stay by just one day would save more than $20 million in health care costs per year.

Common causes of delirium are infections, dehydration and medication changes. A third of the patients in this study arrived at the hospital dehydrated.

"Preventing delirium is important because we want to discharge patients at their baseline or improved functioning," said Fick. "We do not want them to go home with worse functioning than when they came into the hospital."

The goal of the researchers is to help practitioners recognize and treat delirium in patients with DSD as early as possible, helping to improve quality of life for the patient.


Contact: Victoria M. Indivero
Penn State

Related medicine news :

1. Care Logistics Launches Order Logistics as Part of the Hospital Operating System (TM)
2. New Mobile App from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Assists Parents, Doctors with Vaccine Decisions
3. Vermont Hospitals Commit to a Healthier Future with the First Statewide Enrollment in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative
4. Abt Associates to Evaluate Hospital Innovations Designed to Improve Care, Lower Costs
5. Firefly Fuel Introduces a Line of Refillable Oil Lamps, Oil Candles and Eco-Friendly Lamp Oil Supporting Hospitality Sustainability
6. Low dose antibiotic treatment of C-difficile as effective as high dose in hospital setting
7. Changing part of central line could reduce hospital infections
8. Florida Hospital and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Announce Innovative Health Partnership
9. Health Data Intelligence Delivers a Critical Patient Safety and Infection Control Surveillance Tool with the Introduction of the Hospital Complications Dashboard
10. International Essential Tremor Foundation to Facilitate Educational Seminar at Pennsylvania Hospital on the Neurological Disorder, Essential Tremor
11. Advanced Sinus Treatment Available at Kishwaukee Hospital
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Their Care Plan software creates an agreement between the practice owner and ... including financial, scheduling, monitoring, notification, and projections. Click here to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Charitable giving is at its peak during ... the last five weeks of the year totalling over $358 billion in 2014. ... the nation’s charities with those individuals who want to “give back” during the holidays. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The hospitals and health systems on this ... care. They have received recognition for excellence from various reputable organizations in areas ... Hospital Review selected hospitals for inclusion based on national rankings and awards from ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... In response to recent news highlighting Oxycodone fraud, Novus Medical ... the United States grew 400 percent between 1999 and 2010, far more than the ... percent of all fatal drug overdoses. (1) , While oxycodone and the extended release ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... Serenity Point Rehabilitation, a holistic treatment center for substance abuse located ... the staff members at their recovery center. The videos highlight some of the various ... the things that make their recovery program so unique. , “Making the decision to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... issue of United States patent No. 9,192,509  entitled: " Methods and Apparatus ... AVACEN 100 dry heat therapy medical device and specific methods of use, referred to by the ... - ... ... ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Israel , November 25, 2015 ... "New Investors"), pursuant to which BioLight and the New ... IOPtima Ltd. subsidiary ("IOPtima") via a private placement. The ... of its innovative IOPtimate™ system used in the treatment ... approval pathway process for the IOPtimate™ system with the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 --> ... sie eine Lizenz für das Patent über eine neue ... und ENS-Lyon innehaben, an Enyo Pharma vergeben haben. ... ins Leben gerufenen und von Edelris gemeinsam mit seinen ... ein Behandlungsziel für HBV identifiziert, und es wurden neue ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: