Differential diagnosis of delirium

The clinician should organize the etiological search to allow for an efficient, yet thorough, evaluation and treatment. The following outline divides this search into three major steps: exclude potentially life-threatening causes; exclude harmful effects of prescription or illicit drugs; be aware of the complete list of conditions, illnesses, and medications that can lead to delirium (Fig, 1 and Table,,,!,, T,a,b,!,,e„„,2,> T§ble.„,3,, and Tab,l„e..., 4).

Fig. 1 The agitated/confused patient.

Fig. 1 The agitated/confused patient.

Table 1 Differential diagnosis of delirium (I WATCH DEATH)

Table 2 Work-up of delirium

Table 3 Drugs that can cause delirium (extensive)

Table 4 Common drugs in the ICU that can cause delirium

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