Skip to main content
Select Source:

delirium tremens

delirium tremens (trē´mənz, trĕm´ənz), hallucinatory episodes that may occur during withdrawal from chronic alcoholism, popularly known as the DTs. An episode of delirium tremens is usually preceded by disturbed sleep and irritability, and generally takes several days to develop. The patient may experience sweating and increases in heart rate and body temperature, as well as hallucinations, tremors, and convulsions. In severe cases, delirium tremens may lead to hypothermia, cardiovascular collapse, and death. Delirium tremens can be treated, and even prevented, by the injection of fairly large doses of glucose, thiamine (vitamin B1), and insulin, and the continued administration of fluids (sodium chloride and sodium lactate) and the B vitamins. The condition is related to the abrupt drop in blood alcohol level after drinking ceases. Tranquilizers, sedatives, and anticonvulsants are also used in treatment.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"delirium tremens." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"delirium tremens." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/delirium-tremens

"delirium tremens." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/delirium-tremens

Delirium Tremens (DTS)

DELIRIUM TREMENS (DTS)

This clinical disorder is a Delirium that occurs after abrupt cessation of, or reduction in, Alcohol consumption in an individual who has been a heavy drinker for many years. It represents the most severe form of the alcohol Withdrawal state and is not very common. It is associated, however, with a significant mortality rate of those who develop it (10-15%), if left untreated.

Typically, the delirium sets in forty-eight to seventy-two hours after the last drink or after reduction in drinking. The course of illness is generally short, lasting, in most cases, two to three days. The disorder becomes significantly more life threatening if there is concurrent physical illness, such as liver failure, infection, or trauma.

Clinical signs and symptoms are the same ones that are characteristic of a delirium and include disorientation, fluctuating levels of consciousness, vivid hallucinations, delusions, agitation, fever, elevated blood pressure, rapid pulse, sweating, and tremor. The delirium may at times be preceded by a withdrawal seizure. Close monitoring and medical treatment in a hospital setting are required.

(See also: Withdrawal: Alcohol )

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Goodwin, D. W. (1989). Alcoholism. In H. I. Kaplan &B. J. Sadock (Eds.), Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry, 5th ed., vol. 1. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.

Plum, F., & Posner, J. B. (1980). The diagnosis of stupor and coma, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Davis.

Myroslava Romach

Karen Parker

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Delirium Tremens (DTS)." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Delirium Tremens (DTS)." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/delirium-tremens-dts

"Delirium Tremens (DTS)." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/delirium-tremens-dts

delirium tremens

de·lir·i·um tre·mens / diˈli(ə)rēəm ˈtrēmənz/ (abbr.: DTs) • n. a psychotic condition typical of withdrawal in chronic alcoholics, involving tremors, hallucinations, anxiety, and disorientation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"delirium tremens." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"delirium tremens." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/delirium-tremens-0

"delirium tremens." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/delirium-tremens-0

delirium tremens

delirium tremensbanns, glans, Prestonpans, sans •Octans •Benz, cleanse, Fens, gens, lens •Homo sapiens • impatiens • nolens volens • delirium tremens • Serpens •vas deferens • Cairns • Keynes •Jeans, means, Queens, smithereens •Owens • Robbins • Rubens • gubbins •Hitchens • O'Higgins •Huggins, juggins, muggins •imagines • Jenkins • Eakins • Dickens •Wilkins • Hopkins •Dawkins, Hawkins •Collins • Gobelins • widdershins •matins • Martens • Athens • avens •Heinz • confines • Apenninesbonze, bronze, Johns, mod cons, Mons, St John's •Downs, grounds, hash-browns, Townes •Jones, nones •lazybones • sawbones • fivestones •New Orleans, Orléans •Lions, Lyons •Gibbons • St Albans • Siddons •shenanigans • Huygens • vengeance •goujons • St Helens • Hollands •Newlands • Brooklands • Netherlands •Siemens • Symons • commons •summons • Lorenz • Parsons •Goossens •Lamentations, United Nations •Colossians • Sextans • Buttons •Evans • Stevens • Ovens • Onions •Lutyens •Cousins, Cozens •Burns

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"delirium tremens." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"delirium tremens." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/delirium-tremens

"delirium tremens." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/delirium-tremens