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Identification and reversal, when possible, of the reasons for the delirium are critical and have a direct bearing on the survival of the patient. Astute clinical care and supportive medical interventions help many patients (Table 10–6). For example, in hepatic failure, medication is given to reduce serum ammonia levels. Flumazenil (a benzodiazepine antagonist) may be administered (Basile et al. 1994; Rothstein 1994), although 60% of patients fail to respond to this treatment (Pomier-Layrargues et al. 1994).

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Table Reference Number
Table 10–6. Medical management of delirium
Table Reference Number
Table 10–7. Pros and cons of medications used for agitation and delirium

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