Box 42 DSMIV diagnostic criteria for delirium

Disturbance of consciousness (i.e. reduced clarity of awareness of the environment) with reduced ability to focus, sustain or shift attention.

A change in cognition (such as memory deficit, disorientation, language disturbance) or the development of a perceptual disturbance that is not better accounted for by a pre-existing, established or evolving dementia.

The disturbance develops over a short period of time (usually hours to days) and tends to fluctuate during the course of the day.

There is evidence from the history, physical examination or laboratory findings that the disturbance is caused by the direct physiological consequences of a general medical condition.

by different groups, even within medicine. The terms "confusion", "clouding", and "sensorium" in particular should be avoided because of their lack of standard definitions.

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