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Delirium And Its Effects In Patients

1704 words - 7 pages

Topic: Delirium and its effects in patients.Article I: Name- Descending into Delirium by Marshelle Henry, MS, RNSource- American Journal of NursingDate - March 2002 Delirium is defined as a mental disturbance characterized by confusion, disordered speech and hallucinations. This disease affects many people especially the elderly. In the article "Descending into Delirium" we were introduced to an elderly patient named Ethel Darbes who is 91 years of age. She lives on her family farm and has been doing so for more than 40 years. Her immediate family which includes her two daughters, son and nine grandchildren live about 40 miles away from her home. She has another son who is the youngest that lives less than 100 yards from her home. Ethel's husband is deceased so she lives alone. This article mainly discusses key factors in the etiology and progression of delirium, dementia, and depression. The whole article deals with the struggle that Ethel Darbes has to go through. Ethel's functional status remained in tact up until close to her 90th birthday. She drove until about the age 86 but when she stopped her oldest daughter had to resume the responsibility of taking her to town for groceries. Ethel received a coronary artery bypass graft at age 78. After her CABG she walked outdoors or on her treadmill daily. She also cooked her own meals, maintained her own home and enjoyed participating in church activities. At about the age of 86, her family started noticing confusion which increased greatly. She started forgetting birthdays and names of her grandchildren and in conversations she didn't answer often to mask her deteriorating memory. At the age of 90 her memory loss started to affect her daily functioning. She would repeat doses of medication because she had forgotten that she already took them. Her ability to cook and do other small things in her home became hard for her to do. Her son eventually had meals on wheel deliver her meals. Her short term memory worsened to the point that she was repeating actions, questions, and requests. Ms. Darbes's apparent memory loss were symptoms of dementia--a slowly progressing, generally irreversible loss of intellectual function. It affects both recent and remote memory, but a clear state of consciousness and alertness are maintained. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia resulting from recurrent sub clinical strokes. Vascular dementia usually occurs in steps in response to sub clinical strokes. Due to her loss of memory, life for Ethel seemed to get smaller and smaller. Her visits to church decreased, she no longer did her walking, and she could not read without the aid of a magnifying glass. Her living space became limited to her bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and a small sitting area because of her inability to maintain her huge home. She was unable to get around due to her daughter's death. Ms. Darbes became very isolated and had very few visitors. Due to this she started...

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