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Dementia detection 'low in hospitals'

Posted on 23 May 2011

Identification of dementia in hospital patients is low, according to one expert, meaning that many paying for care could not realise they have the condition.

In a podcast for BMJ group, Dr Shaun O'Keeffe of Merlin Park University Hospital, said it is well known that dementia identification is "very poor".

 He explained that one of the major contributing factors is a failure by medical workers to recognise delirium or acute confusion.

"The reason that is important is because delirium is a sign of acute illness and often the only presenting sign in older people," continued Mr O'Keeffe.

This follows research from Brown University which found that the families of dementia patients in the US did not receive enough information as to whether a feeding tube should be inserted.

Authors pointed out that there is no evidence that feeding tubes increase survival rates or quality of life in older patients.

Posted by Nigel Murphy

 

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