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Expert Assessment of Confusion


Most people have temporary moments of confusion from time to time. Sudden confusion is more serious. Sudden confusion, also called delirium, is a rapid change in mental status. Delirium can start over several hours to days, and it can result in confused or disorganized thinking and lack of awareness about your environment. 

Anyone experiencing delirium should be seen by a doctor immediately. With prompt diagnosis, many causes of confusion are treatable, or even reversible.

At Dignity Health, you can trust our emergency care team to treat you and your loved ones with respect and personal care when you are experiencing confusion in the Bay Area. Visit our Online Waiting Room to select an estimated time of arrival at one of our ERs. 

Causes of Confusion

Certain mental and physical health conditions can cause confusion, including:

Symptoms Related to Confusion

Sudden confusion may occur along with other symptoms, including: 

  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Being dazed or reduced alertness
  • Disorientation to time or place
  • Hallucinations
  • Inability to pay attention or stay focused
  • Emotional disturbances
  • Excessive drowsiness

Delirium and dementia have similar symptoms. But, they are different problems with different causes. Reporting all symptoms to your doctor can help them make the most accurate diagnosis. 

Confusion: Diagnosis & Treatment

Your doctor at Dignity Health in the Bay Area may use tests, such as imaging exams and blood tests, along with physical exams and careful observation to diagnose the cause of sudden confusion or delirium. Having the right diagnosis is the first step in planning your specialized treatment strategy.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have sudden confusion or delirium in the Bay Area. Experts at Dignity Health are here to help.

Dignity Health offers emergency care for confusion in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.