Sudden confusion (delirium) can have many different causes. Get medical help immediately if someone suddenly becomes confused (delirious).
How to tell if someone is confused
If a person is confused, they may:
- not be able to think or speak clearly or quickly
- not know where they are (feel disorientated)
- struggle to pay attention or remember things
- see or hear things that aren't there (hallucinations)
Try asking the person their name, their age and today's date. If they seem unsure or can't answer you, they probably need medical help.
Things to do while you wait for an ambulance
stay with the person – tell them who you are and where they are, and keep reassuring themuse simple words and short sentencesmake a note of any medicines they're taking, if possible
do not ask lots of questions while they're feeling confuseddo not stop the person moving around – unless they're in danger
Causes of sudden confusion
Sudden confusion can be caused by many different things. Don't try to self-diagnose – get medical help if someone suddenly becomes confused or delirious.
Some of the most common causes of sudden confusion include: