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Simple Methods Help Prevent Hospital Delirium

Delirium is common among older patients in hospitals, but simple methods can help prevent it, a new study concludes. Delirium is a sudden and usually short-term state of confusion. People may not be aware of where they are. Estimates suggest that one-third to two-thirds of elderly hospital patients develop delirium. This increases the risk of falls, which can lead to serious injury. The new study looked at prior research on non-drug methods used to prevent delirium in older hospital patients. They analyzed the combined results of 14 earlier studies. Different studies used one or more methods to help prevent delirium. Hospital staff reminded patients of where they were and the date and time. They tried to get them out of bed and walking as soon as possible. They made sure people had their glasses and hearing aids if needed. They tried to avoid waking patients at night.

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