Please click the link for a Vimeo video of one man’s harrowing encounter with delirium. It is an absolutely superbly done document of this medical emergency, and one cannot help being moved by it. If you’ve explored my blog site and found this extraordinary teaching video of this first person account by an unfortunate man who suffered delirium, you’ve found just one resource on the European Delirium Association web site. There is a plethora of educational background and tools for detecting and preventing delirium there.
This is probably the most compelling account of delirium experienced first hand by anyone that I’ve ever heard. I’m grateful to this man who courageously faced his trauma and was willing to share it with the rest of us. His story can be multiplied by thousands and it’s the reason for a collective effort around the world to learn as much as we can about delirium, and to prevent this medical emergency.
You can see why psychiatrists are called. A consulting psychiatrist helped reassure him that he was not going crazy and put the delirium into perspective for him, connecting it to his episode of sepsis, or blood infection, a frequent cause of delirium that I see almost every day in the general hospital and on the Medical-Psychiatry Unit.
This man’s story is the best way to explain to the world at large why there is an urgent need for more research on delirium and for all stakeholders to view it as a critical safety issue in hospitals and other care facilities. What policy makers, patients and families, doctors and nurses, and other health care professionals need to know is that research has already shown that delirium can be a preventable complication in the hospitalized medically ill patient.