Psychiatric emergencies: Rapid response and life-saving therapies

Gary J. Kennedy, Ejike Onuogu, Robert Lowinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mental status in older patients can be acutely affected by a range of factors, particularly polypharmacy, disorders of cognition, psychosis, and elder abuse. Patients so affected may be agitated, uncooperative, combative, suicidal, or incapable of participating in treatment decisions. In a life- threatening emergency, a patient may need to be restrained or a treatment administered against a patient's wishes. Key to successful management of psychiatric emergencies is an awareness of the potential scenarios, familiarity with appropriate interventions, and an understanding of patient rights. An increased alertness for life-threatening behaviors can help prevent an event from worsening and minimize the likelihood of a patient acting out on a threat of violence or suicide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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