The Importance Of Recognizing And Managing Delirium

2012-03-08 | |
Last updated: 2012-03-08

What Health Risks Do Those With Delirium Face?

With so many people at risk for developing Delirium, yet Delirium being temporary in most cases, you might be asking what serious risks are associated with the condition. In this case, the risks relate to the chances of requiring long-term care and the chances of dying. Both are significant.

According to the same research from St. Michael’s Hospital already mentioned, stroke patients who developed Delirium were 4.7 times more likely to die within a year of leaving the hospital than stroke patients without Delirium. The research also found that these patients were 3 times more likely to require long-term care.

Other research from Indiana University has found similarly concerning results for patients in general. Their 2011 study found that patients who developed Delirium in hospital had double the risk of dying compared to patients who never developed the condition. This factor existed regardless of age, sex, health or preexisting dementia in patients.

What this all means is that although Delirium may be temporary in many cases, its health effects can be significant.


When a hospital visit is necessary for treatment of a serious medical condition, many health concerns may come to mind. Yet, in most cases, the risks of Delirium are not one of our concerns. This is, in part, because Delirium is a temporary, recoverable medical condition and because it is frequently under diagnosed. However, given the short and long term health risks associated with developing Delirium, it is important that health providers and family members be aware of the symptoms and the associated risks.

A future article will cover the costs and treatments for Delirium.

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Category: General Health, Health Risks, Symptom Information

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