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Chapter 45 - Best practices for the evaluation and treatment of patients with mental and substance use illness in the emergency department

from Section 6. - Administration of psychiatric care

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2013

Leslie S. Zun
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Mt Sinai Hospital, Chicago
Lara G. Chepenik
Affiliation:
Yale University School of Medicine
Mary Nan S. Mallory
Affiliation:
University of Louisville, School of Medicine
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Summary

Across the board, hospitals surveyed indicate there are no differences between the treatment protocols for general psychiatric patients and substance abuse patients, with the exception of a patient's level of intoxication requiring medical intervention. Triage is a brief intervention that occurs when a patient initially presents to the emergency department (ED) during which the patient is interviewed to help determine the nature and severity of his or her illness. It is generally accepted that medical clearance occurs after completion of the medical assessment and any pertinent laboratory or radiological tests to conclude there is no organic etiology. Many patients presenting to the ED abuse drugs or alcohol, and these drugs may mask or exacerbate other psychiatric symptoms. In response to Task Force inquiries of emergency physicians in Illinois, it is found that they generally do not endorse standard medications for psychiatric patients.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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