Hospital delirium

Momofbbcc Member Posts: 15

My Dad, who is 78 years old, finished a regimen of IV chemo about a month ago.  He was getting the chemo every other week since December 2014.  His oncologist put him on a 6-week break.  Unfortunately, he fell and broke his left arm about 10 days ago and is still in the hospital.  The broken arm is bad, but other medical issues he has going on now from the fall are even worse.  We are struggling for answers.  He has developed something called hospital delirium, so he can go from being confused, to agitated, to delusional.  His medical team is trying to figure out the cause of him getting this condition. He was given a lot of morphine when he arrived at the hospital, the fall was surely very traumatic for him, the EMS experience was difficult, having his wedding ring pulled off his very swollen finger was horrific.  

The psychiatric team put him on an anti-psychotic medication to help with his delusions, agitation, etc.  It was not helping, so our family asked for it to be changed.  He has now been on Zyprexa for the past 2 days, and again it does not seem to be helping all that much.  He is calmer, but he is not sleeping or eating that much.  He is also incontinent right now.  His heart rate is up it is averaging about 116.  He has gone into atrial fibrillation about 3 times since being admitted.  He also has not been out of bed much since this happened.  Physical Therapy have been in 2-3 times and have been able to get him to stand up, but with 2-3 therapists assisting him.

My family & I just don't know what to do.  If anyone has had any experience with this condition or anti-psychotic medications and can help we would be greatly appreciative.  We are thinking we might hold off on his Zyprexa tonight. 

Thanks for any help you can give.


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    How awful

    I am so sorry to hear this. 

    I am also sorry that I can offer no advice. 

    I wonder if he contracted a superbug in the hospital, that affects the brain? 

    All I can offer is my deepest and most sincere thoughts and prayers or good vibes. 

    Sue - Trubrit

  • jen2012
    jen2012 Member Posts: 1,607 Member
    My mom went thru the same

    My mom went thru the same last summer after being hospitalized.  She did not have cancer, but was there originally for a toe amputation that didn't heal, so she was dealing with infection, stress, new mix of drugs, and depression.  I think that all contributed to  the delirium.   We were told the only thing that would help is getting her out if the hospital, which was pretty impossible with the issues she had.  She did end up going to a rehab facility and a lot of it did clear up.   I also had more say on the drugs she was getting.  At the hospital they said yes to my wishes and then did whatever they wanted.   It was a nightmare.   Unfortunately her stay at rehab did not last long as she needed another surgery.  Sadly she spiraled downhill quickly and never recovered from the last surgery.

    i know how difficult this is to deal with and how confusing it is when you are in the middle of It all.  Do you know what his wishes are as far as dnr etc?  It sucks to think about but it's an important decision at this point.

    Can you get him out of the hospital for a change of scenery?  Rehab or home?  

    Im very sorry.  I was in your place last year at this time with my 68 yr old mother who was the most amazing person just sucks.  I hope things turn around for your dad.

  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    so sorry to hear all this

    Morphine is a great pain med, but not for everyone.  My adult son cannot take it as it causes much the same reaction in him as for your Dad.

    Have they changed his pain meds?

    When my sister was in hospital for bone mets, the doctor had to go thru any number of pain meds to find one that would work on the pain but not cause adverse reactions.

    Hope you dad is on the mend soon.

    Marie who loves kitties