Post-ECT Delirium

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Abstract

Summary

A confusional state accompanied by restlessness is a frequent occurrence at the end of an induced seizure in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Delirium, which usually lasts <1 h, occurs in up to 12% of patients. It is most frequent during the initial treatments of a series. The occurrence of delirium in one treatment is not a harbinger of its reappearance in later treatments. Usually gentle reassurance is sufficient to help the patient, but some instances warrant the administration of diazepam, midazolam, a barbiturate, or droperidol.

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