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Delirium is an organic mental disorder defined as a confusional state, attention deficit, and disorganised thinking, whit a fluctuating course and acute development. It is a common disorder occurring in general hospital patients. Underlying causes are multiple: medical, surgical, and drug related.
Evaluation of one year requests in a Liaison Psychiatric Unit in a general Hospital due to Delirium/Agitation of inpatients.
Retrospective study of requests due to delirium/agitation (inpatients) to Liaison Psychiatric Unit, during the year of 2006. Requests were made to the Unit through a screening questionnaire previously elaborated to hospital services. It contained information about: social demographic, requiring services, medical diagnostic/information, referral psychiatric symptoms. Evaluation of mismatch of initial referral and final diagnosis was made.
Delirium diagnoses accounted for 8,87% of the total patients attended in this Unit during 2006. The age average was 66,75 years. 56% were male. Majority of patients were referred by Medicine 3,94% and Surgery 4,93% (N=406) requests. In 75% of the cases of Delirium, the referral symptoms were psychomotor agitation. Psychopharmacologic procedures were made in 77,78% of cases; 55,56% used antipsychotic, 27,78% benzodiazepines. In 72,22% of all cases, there wasn't any previous psychiatric history.
The number of requests for delirium was inferior to most of described series. Most of cases were characterized by psychomotor agitation. Psychopharmacologic procedures were necessary for most of cases. When request was made, diagnostic accuracy of medical practitioners was high. Data supports the statement that delirium is more frequent in Surgical patients.
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