Tuesday, 23 June 2015

my comment on Herald article @naysmithHT 22 June 2015 about "delirium as a medical emergency"

'NHS should view delirium as a medical emergency, experts warn' by Stephen Naysmith, social affairs correspondent, in the Herald Scotland on 22 June 2015:

"Delirium is now viewed as a medical emergency as serious as stroke, heart attack and pneumonia, and can leave patients at eight times the risk of contracting dementia.

However, detection rates have been described by one Scottish expert as 'dismal' and until recently nurses would explain to patients that "older people always get confused when they come into hospital". ..."

and my comment, still being moderated:

"It's disappointing not to see a more balanced report on the condition known as "delirium".  Including questioning or critical voices in the mix.  It reads like the Healthcare Improvement Scotland party line and a PR exercise. 

Prof Alastair MacLullich has developed a Delirium "tool" called the 4AT which  is promoted extensively by HIS while still to be validated.  Experienced doctors would say that to diagnose the causes of delirium cannot be done in a few minutes, regardless of the claim made by the 4AT promoters.

Here is a post by Dr Peter J Gordon, consultant psychiatrist for older people, and writer, which explains some of the issues - 'Re-labelling (and a bit)':


Where Dr Gordon mentions the rebranding of the 4AT from a "screening instrument for cognitive impairment and delirium" to a "rapid assessment test for delirium" while being under validation. 

I would recommend that HIS be more careful with their "tools".  A screwdriver is not the same as a hammer.  And neither is of much use when it comes to the intricate workings of a computer, except of course if you want to open it up or smash it to pieces."


 On Hole Ousia website 22 June 2015: Promises to listen to our elders

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