Study: Covid can cause Delirium

According to a study, published in the journal BMJ Open, out of 150 patients hospitalised for Covid in the United States in the initial phase of the pandemic, 73 per cent had delirium.


According to the study, patients with delirium tended to be sicker, with other comorbidities like hypertension and diabetes. They appeared to have more severe Covid-related illness.

What is Delirium?

Delirium is a serious disturbance in mental state in which a person is confused, agitated and unable to think clearly. Start of delirium is usually rapid that is within hours or a few days. It can often be traced to one or more contributing factors like a severe or chronic illness; changes in metabolic balance like low sodium; infection, medication, surgery, alcohol or drug intoxication or withdrawal.

Symptoms of delirium

Symptoms of delirium and dementia can be similar. Signs and symptoms of delirium usually starts over a few hours or a few days. Symptoms often fluctuate throughout the day. There may be periods of no symptoms as well. Symptoms gets worse during the night. Some of the major signs and symptoms include:

  1. Inability to stay focused on single topic or to switch topics
  2. Getting stuck on an idea rather than responding
  3. Being easily distracted by unimportant things

Causes of Delirium

Possible causes if Delirium include:

  1. Certain medications or drug toxicity
  2. Alcohol or drug intoxication
  3. Medical condition, like stroke, heart attack, lung or liver disease,
  4. Metabolic imbalances, low sodium or low calcium
  5. Malnutrition or dehydration


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