Delirium is a condition which is associated with the brain of an individual. In this condition, a person often experiences himself being in a state of confusion. The condition accompanies difficulties in the simplest activities such as paying attention, sleeping, remembering and numerous other.
The causes of delirium can be many. One might go through such a state of mind even after a surgery. All the diseases which can result in the cause of infections and inflammations might be the causative agent of delirium. A disease such as pneumonia, can not only affect your body but it can also interfere in the functioning of the brain, resulting in delirium. This is because due to these diseases, the requirements of the brain to function in a proper manner might be disrupted. Lack of oxygen to the brain is a big factor causing delirium.
4A’s test score is carried out to screen out delirium or to know if the individual is suffering from delirium or not. It is an instrumental testing which is done to assess delirium and cognitive impairment. The test is named 4A’s or 4AT’s because 4 things are observed in a patient during the test.
1- Alertness of the patient.
This is carried out if the patient is not as active or if he/she is hyperactive. The patient is observed even during the sleep to test the alertness.
2- The AMT4 Score, which includes age, DOB, current year and your place of birth.
3- To test the attentive ability of the patient, (Different questions are asked to test the focusing ability of the individual).
4- Acute change.
This involves any fluctuation which might be noticeable in the mental function of the patient.
For every observation/test, there is a specific score for the condition that is observed in the patient. For example, if while observing the alertness of the patient, he/she appears abnormal, the score will be ‘’4’’.
The final score which is obtained by undergoing all the steps is an indication of the condition of the patient’s brain. For example, if the patient’s score falls anywhere between 1 and 3, the chances are that he/she will have congenital impairment.
Moreover, to carry out the test, one might need the information of the patient from different sources, such as the nurses who have been assisting the patients.
Treatment Of Delirium:
After Delirium Diagnosed in an individual, the next step is obvious, the treatment. Although, the treatment depends purely upon the underlying causes of delirium, but pharmacological management and supportive therapy are required by every patient suffering from the condition.
Some of the ways in which delirium can be treated have been listed below.
- The patient might not be able to look after him/herself especially when it comes to nutrition. Be sure to keep a check on the nutrition of the patient and maintain the nourishment. If the patient is a drug addict, withdrawal holds immense importance.
- Mentally stimulate the patient by talking to them, showing them family pictures and discussing the on goings in the family with them. Do not isolate them.
- Maintain the patient’s sleep cycle. Maximum sleep during the night should be ensured with minimum sounds and distractions.
- Don’t let the patient stay in the bed 24/7. Make the patient get out of bed and walk to interact with the suitable environment when it is appropriate. Also, make them sit on proper chairs during mealtime instead of providing them food in the bed.
- To make the patient comfortable in the new environment, bring familiar things of theirs. For example, a certain cushion or bed sheet which the patient recognizes.
- Ensure that the patient is properly hydrated.
Along with the care, there are certain medicines which are also advised to the patients. The medicines such as antipsychotic drugs are given in a lower amount once the patient’s condition start to better.