Treating Agitation in Emergency Room Requires Delicate Balancing Act
Verbal de-escalation should take precedence over use of medication or seclusion and restraint when psychiatrists and other emergency department staff have to intervene with a severely agitated patient, emphasizes Garland Holloman, M.D., director of emergency psychiatric services at the University of Mississippi. Holloman headed an American Association for Emergency Psychiatry panel that developed guidelines that describe best practices in evaluating and treating agitation in the emergency department. Speakingat APA's Institute on Psychiatric Services, he pointed out that using less-physical methods to help patients regain control increases their trust and cooperation, improving the outlook for future treatment.
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