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Excited Delirium 

Excited Delirium
Excited Delirium
Acute Care Casebook

Thomas Williams


Excited delirium poses a challenging diagnostic and management issue for many prehospital providers. These patients can be agitated, aggressive, violent, and often require additional resources to restrain them. Excited delirium may be precipitated by a variety of factors, including psychiatric disturbance, metabolic derangement, and intoxication. Providers may need to coordinate with law enforcement officials or reach for sedative medications to safely assess and manage them. This chapter describes some of the key features of excited delirium, discusses common precipitants of this state, and provides management strategies for these patients, including the use of sedatives. This chapter also discusses some of the adverse reactions to sedative medications and what to do if these arise.

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