What Is Disorientation? Disorientation is a type of altered mental status. Orientation is knowledge of one’s: personal identitylocationdatetimepresent situation Alternative Names Disoriented, disturbance of orientation, orientation confused, orientation poor, disorientated. Synopsis Disorientation is the lack of being able to correctly identify yourself, your location, or the date and time. It’s a sign of an altered mental status. A change in mental status often indicates a serious medical problem that requires immediate medical attention. It may also be a sign of intoxication. The patient is typically unable to give reliable information. Others must be ready to provide important information about the patient’s history, habits, and social situation. Associated Diagnoses Similar diagnoses include: Alzheimer’s diseaseDiabetic ketoacidosisCreutzfeldt-Jakob diseaseepilepsyalcohol related disordershead injuryhemorrhagic shockhyperparathyroidismconcussiondementiadeliriumEencephalitisWest Nile Virusnarcotic overdosehypoxiahyperglycemiauremiahyperammonemiasedative overdoseanti-convulsant overdosepsychotropic drug overdosethyrotoxicosisAddison’s diseaseCushing’s diseaseheat strokehypothermiaacidosisalkalosismeningitisencephalopathysubarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)tumorscerebral aneurysmstroketransient ischemic attackbasilar migrainetraumatic brain injury Diagnosis and Treatment Disorientation requires immediate medical attention to determine the diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Call 911 Call 911 if you are unable to arouse a person who is disoriented, or if the person is also agitated and you have concerns that the person might harm themselves or others.
JC Jones MA, RN
Medically Reviewed by:
Dec 17, 2014
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.