What are the surgical causes of delirium?

Updated: Apr 25, 2019
  • Author: Kannayiram Alagiakrishnan, MD, MBBS, MPH, MHA; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Delirium may come about as a result of surgery or operation.

  • Preoperative (dementia, polypharmacy, fluid and electrolyte imbalance)
  • Intraoperative (meperidine, long-acting benzodiazepines, anticholinergics such as atropine; however, medications such as glycopyrrolate can be used because, in contrast to atropine, they do not cross the blood brain barrier)

  • Postoperative (hypoxia, hypotension, drug withdrawal)

Mild cognitive impairment and vascular risk factors can be independent risk factors for postoperative delirium. [31]

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