Diagnosing delirium

Confusion Assessment Method, the short version

1. Acute onset and fluctuating course

Is there evidence of an acute change in mental status from the patient's baseline? Did this behavior fluctuate during the day — that is, come and go or increase and decrease in severity?

2. Inattention

Does the patient have difficulty focusing attention, for example, being easily distractible or having difficulty keeping track of what was being said?

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