Like most people, you probably get confused from time to time. It is when you have trouble thinking or organizing your thoughts. But sudden confusion — rapid onset of altered mental status and disorientation — is much different. Sudden confusion can be due to serious and even life-threatening conditions and requires prompt medical care.
Our emergency medicine doctors and other specialists at Dignity Health Southern California are skilled at recognizing the signs and related symptoms of confusion and diagnosing its cause.
Seek emergency care or call 911 for immediate help if you or someone you are with experiences sudden confusion in Southern California. Our accomplished staff offers fast and effective emergency treatment at all of our locations:
If you feel comfortable waiting at home, use the InQuicker online waiting tool to check wait times at our convenient locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and Inland Empire cities San Beranrdino, Fontana, and Highland.
Distinguishing Confusion from Other Conditions
Another name for sudden confusion is delirium. It looks very similar to dementia. In fact, confusion in the elderly can be mistaken for dementia. Other symptoms that can offer clues as to the underlying cause include:
- Emotional disturbances, such as unusual happiness, sadness, or anger
- Inability to stay focused or attentive
- Restlessness or agitation
Testing & Diagnosis of Delirium & Confusion at Dignity Health Southern California
Sudden confusion is a symptom itself of both physical and mental conditions. Serious causes of sudden confusion we see at Dignity Health Southern California include:
- Drug abuse or withdrawal, including alcohol and illicit substances
- Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances
- Fever, possibly due to infection
- Medication overdose
- Severe pain or shock
We treat many causes of confusion, such as dehydration, without lasting health effects. That is why a prompt diagnosis and treatment are critical. Your doctor has immediate access to blood testing, radiology, and neurology services to rule out or confirm a diagnosis in order to plan the most appropriate treatment.
Contact us today to learn more about the specialized medical services Dignity Health Southern California offers our communities.
Dignity Health doctors act quickly for signs and symptoms of confusion in Southern California.