James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough held an exhibition to increase awareness of delirium earlier this month.

The event, for World Delirium Day, included a display of leaflets and information in the atrium on one of the main routes through the hospital, while staff were on hand to give out information.

Delirium is a change in a person’s mental state or consciousness. Someone with delirium may be confused, have difficulty with understanding and memory or may show personality changes. It is acute on onset, developing over hours and days, but is usually temporary.

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It is most frequent in those over 65 when first admitted to hospital, who have difficulty with memory or understanding, have dementia, have a broken hip or are seriously ill. The exhibition sought to help medical staff and family to identify delirium as soon as possible. There are various tests which can be used by health care professionals to support a diagnosis.

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Dementia lead nurse Anna Wilson said: "We’re running this event as an education day around delirium both to the public but also to hospital staff. How to recognise it, how to prevent it, how to treat it. We’ve had various staff come down here today, having a look at the inflatable brain, having a look at the stall and information we’ve got, and the members of the public passing by today. We’ve been round the wards as well.”

She added: “The risk factors are of being aged over 65, had a critical illness, infection, pain, trauma, fracture, dehydration, change of environment for a patient with dementia, for example.”