Acute Confusion

acute confusion .

Introduction

NANDA nursing diagnosis is an important tool used by nurses in the evaluation and care of patients. Acute confusion is a common nursing diagnosis that evaluates the patient’s mental state and can be used to identify strategies to reduce the severity and duration of the patient’s confusion.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

Acute Confusion is defined as a sudden, transient state in which an individual experiences disorientation and impaired cognition.

Defining Characteristics

Subjectives

  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Disoriented
  • Difficulty thinking / speaking
  • Poor memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Fatigue

Objectives

  • Mistakes when performing tasks
  • Reduced attention span
  • Inconsistent responses to verbal cues
  • Anxiety
  • Depressed affect
  • Perceptual disturbances
  • Lack of concern over personal safety
  • Inability to demonstrate problem-solving skills

Related Factors

There are various medical conditions and life events that may lead to acute confusion. These include medications, trauma, substance abuse, electrolyte imbalance, infections and metabolic disorders.

Risk Population

Patients facing serious illnesses or presenting with drug abuse, certain medications, poor nutrition, hypoxia, sensory deprivation, physical restraints and fatigue may be at higher risk for confusion.

Associated Problems

The associated problems of acute confusion include greater risk of falls, difficulty retaining new information, increased stress, diminished self-care abilities and difficulty creating and maintaining relationships.

Suggestions of Use

Nurses should consider acute confusion when assessing indicated populations and consider the role of underlying medical or psychosocial factors that might be contributing to their confusion.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnosis

Alternative diagnoses in cases of confused behavior include mental status changes, such as delirium, dementia and higher cerebral functioning impairment.

Usage Tips

When treating a patient with acute confusion, it is important to create a quiet environment and avoid excessive stimulation. It can also be helpful to initially speak in short, uncomplicated sentences and keep explanations simple and concrete.

NOC Results

  • Mental Status: Level of consciousness, memory, orientation, judgment, problem solving, communication and insight are assessed.
  • Self-Care: Ability to perform activities of daily living are assessed.
  • Safety: Ability to develop plans to prevent harm to oneself or others is assessed.

NIC Interventions

  • Orientation: Provide orienting information to help the patient gain awareness of self, time, place and person.
  • Reorientation: Perform supportive interventions to help maintain patient safety and confidence.
  • Pay Attention: Monitor the patient’s level of confusion and response to treatments/interventions.

Conclusion

NANDA nursing diagnosis: Acute Confusion is used to identify strategies to reduce the severity and duration of confused behavior. Knowing the patient’s risk factors, associated problems and defining characteristics can help healthcare providers provide proper assessment and timely interventions to those who need it.

FAQ

  • Who is at risk for acute confusion?
    Patients with serious illnesses, drug abuse, certain medications, poor nutrition, hypoxia, sensory deprivation, physical restraints or fatigue are at higher risk for confusion.
  • What are the implications of acute confusion?
    The implications of acute confusion include greater risk of falls, difficulty retaining new information, increased stress, diminished self-care abilities and difficulty creating and maintaining relationships.
  • What are some tips for providing care to someone with acute confusion?
    When treating a patient with acute confusion, it is important to create a quiet environment and avoid excessive stimulation. It can also be helpful to initially speak in short, uncomplicated sentences and keep explanations simple and concrete.

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