Delirium is harrowing condition characterized by hallucinations and confusion. Delirium sufferers can experience vivid waking nightmares, which can appear without warning and last weeks. Hospital delirium is scary. Hospitalized patients are already in weakened states, and hospitals contain a huge number of hazards for people who are in a confused state.
Luckily, medical professionals, families, and journalists have been raising awareness about this strange and nightmarish condition. Several articles have lately pointed to the acute dangers presented by delirium appearing in already hospitalized patients. Medical professionals are still not entirely sure about the causes of or solutions to hospital delirium, but they and the care teams of patients are discussing the big relevant issues and trying to identify solutions.
What is Delirium?
First, delirium is not the same thing as dementia. Delirium can come and come, and it is generally less predictable than dementia. The two can be present together, and ruling out delirium is an important step in identifying dementia. Delirium patients frequently recover fully, so the distinction is an important one.
Delirium is often preventable but is regularly missed or misdiagnosed (research suggests it can be missed in up to half of all cases). Part of the reason delirium is so often missed is because its symptoms can include things present in other conditions. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), these symptoms can include:
- exhaustion and disrupted sleep
- memory loss
- trouble completing normal tasks like going to the bathroom
- mood swings
Many of these symptoms will look familiar to anyone who has dealt with dementia. Even trained physicians miss it. Unlike dementia, though, delirium can often be stopped (dementia is usually permanent and degenerative). Delirium is often directly related to medications, and taking a patient off these medications can make the problem vanish.
Why Does Delirium Occur in Hospitals?
Delirium hits hospital patients most often when they’ve been sedated (in fact, some doctors refer to the condition as “ICU psychosis”). The sedatives which medical professionals use to numb patients during highly stressful and invasive operations—ostensibly to keep patients’ emotions safe—appear to be associated with delirium. Additionally, the intense stress that comes with an operation, and the unfamiliar location of the hospital, can put patients at risk of developing the condition.
Hospital delirium is a common occurrence, affecting 7 million patients every year, according to an article which ran this summer in the Atlantic. If one of your loved ones is sedated during an operation, monitor her or him for any sign of delirium. Don’t write off strange behavior as simply the normal reaction of an elderly person to stress. Additionally, don’t assume someone who acts strangely around the same time as their surgery is developing dementia. Remember how frequently delirium diagnoses are missed.
Keep an eye on any hospitalized loved ones you suspect may be suffering from delirium. Hospitals are not good places to wander around confused in. Medical equipment can be dangerous when misused. Moreover, hospitals can be cold and frightening to a person suffering from hallucinations and confusion. Stress will not help someone with delirium, and may even prolong the effects.
There are a few good reasons to maintain an organized medicine cabinet, not the least of which is to simplify our lives and make it easier to find the things we need. Another important reason to keep our medicine cabinets in order is to make sure we’re not holding on to any expired medications.Medication errors, ranging from incorrect prescriptions to taking expired pills, injure in excess of 1.5 million people annually. Here are five things you can do to de-clutter your medicine cabinet and ensure that doesn’t happen to you.
First Things First
Start from scratch and clear out the entire medicine cabinet. Throw away anything that is damaged, useless, and most importantly, expired. This article from the Food and Drug Administration talks about the dangers of taking expired prescription drugs.
Next, clean the shelves with disinfectant wipes or a sponge and disinfectant spray. If you are able to remove the shelves, take them out, wash them in soap and water, and thoroughly dry before replacing.
If your medicine cabinet shelves are adjustable, move them up to create more room for the tallest items, such as cologne, hair gels, and toothbrushes and toothpaste. Putting your toothbrush behind a closed door is more sanitary than leaving it out on the counter.
Another great way to maximize space is to invest a few dollars in mini risers. They add an extra shelf to the medicine cabinet, which allows you to neatly store more items.
Location, Location, Location
As you return the items to the medicine cabinet, pay attention to where they go. Anything you don’t use often should be placed on the top shelf, or even in another cabinet. For example, how often do you really use hydrogen peroxide? Save the lower shelve(s) for everyday items.
Think Small and Consolidate
Anything you buy in bulk, such as cotton balls, should be moved to smaller containers with the big bags being stored separately. Place the items in uniform clear jars for ease of identification, place them in the medicine cabinet, and refill as needed. This prevents everything from tumbling out of the medicine cabinet every time you open the door. If it’s feasible, do the same thing with liquids, like hair gel.
When it comes to items that are already small, consider consolidating them into a single clear jar. For example, group together your lip balm, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. That way, nothing will roll out of the medicine cabinet, but you can still easily retrieve the items.
To make it easier to find everything once it’s all been organized, group things together by category. All of your makeup should have its own area, as should all of your first aid supplies, medicines, hygiene products, and so on. That way, when you open the medicine cabinet looking for something, you don’t have to move everything around (disorganizing it again!) just to find it.
Keeping an organized medicine cabinet can save you time and help you avoid frustration. It can also serve as a reminder to keep track of the dates on your medications, so you can throw them out once they’re expired. If you need to get rid of old medication, but don’t know how to safely dispose of it, read this article from the FDA, because while it is important to dispose of expired medication, it’s also important to do it properly.
Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease doesn’t mean that your life is over. These inspirational celebrities have gone on to write books, record music, earn doctorates, and even negotiate with terrorists after their diagnosis.
When you face a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease you have two choices. You can let it get you down, or you can stick out your chin and decide that you’re not going to let it get in the way of living your life to the fullest.
Let’s face it: you’re going to have some bad days. Everybody does. But there’s no reason to make every day miserable, as you’ve got a long life ahead of you with plenty more opportunities to laugh, love, and enjoy the moment. Modern treatments mean that people with Parkinson’s disease have a normal life expectancy, and with the right health insurance quotes you can make sure that you get the treatment you need when you need it.
There are plenty of reasons why you might be thinking about taking oral contraceptives. Perhaps you want a form of birth control that is easy to take and hassle-free. Maybe you want to try oral contraceptives to control your acne, or maybe you just need to regulate your cycles. Whatever the reason, you should know that there are lots of brands out there. Below are some advantages and disadvantages of Yaz that can help you determine whether it’s a safe choice for you.