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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Confusion: Treatment & Monitoring


Alternate Names : Confusional State, Mental Dysfunction

Confusion | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the symptom?

Treatment is directed at the cause of the confusion.

  • A person who develops confusion while in the hospital may simply need someone to reorient him or her to the time and place.
  • An individual with low blood sugar may need to drink a sweet drink or eat a snack.
  • A person who formerly used drugs usually gets better when the drug is stopped.
  • An individual with an infection may need antibiotics.
  • A person with kidney failure may need dialysis, which is a procedure that filters the blood when the kidneys don't work.
  • Someone with cancer may need chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    All medicines have possible side effects. For example, antibiotics may cause allergic reactions or stomach upset. Surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to the anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the symptom?

    In many cases, confusion goes away when the cause is treated. In other cases, confusion may be a sign of more serious disease. Some causes of confusion such as stroke and Alzheimer disease may cause permanent brain damage and problems with brain function.

    How is the symptom monitored?

    A confused person should not be left alone. Other monitoring depends on the underlying cause. For example, those who have had a stroke often need close monitoring in an intensive care unit for awhile. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the doctor.

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    Confusion: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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