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A 42-year-old man with a history of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol use disorder and anxiety disorder, was seen in the emergency department (ED) after a high-risk suicide attempt by hanging. The patient was agitated and attempted to escape from the ED while on an involuntary psychiatric commitment. The ED staff treated him as a “routine boarder” awaiting an inpatient bed, with insufficiently robust behavioral monitoring.
Yurkiewicz I. New York, NY: WW Norton & Company, Inc; 2023. ISBN: 9780393881196.
Mann B. Health Shots. National Public Radio. August 7, 2023.
This case describes a 65-year-old man with alcohol use disorder who presented to a hospital 36 hours after his last alcoholic drink and was found to be in severe alcohol withdrawal. The patient’s Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment (CIWA) score was very high, indicating signs and symptoms of severe alcohol withdrawal. He was treated with symptom-triggered dosing of benzodiazepines utilizing the CIWA protocol and dexmedetomidine continuous infusion.
A 50-year-old unhoused patient presented to the Emergency Department (ED) for evaluation of abdominal pain, reportedly one day after swallowing multiple sharp objects. Based on the radiologic finding of an open safety pin or paper clip in the distal stomach, he was appropriately scheduled for urgent esophagogastroduodenoscopy and ordered to remain NPO (nothing by mouth) to reduce the risk of aspirating gastric contents.
Gammon K. STAT. June 26, 2023.
Washington DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; May 10, 2023. Report no. 22-01116-110.
A 25-year-old female was sent by ambulance to the emergency department (ED) by a mental health clinic for suicidal ideation. Upon arrival to the ED, she was evaluated by the triage nurse and determined to be awake, alert, calm, and cooperative and she denied current suicidal thoughts. The ED was extremely busy, and the patient was placed on a gurney with a Posey restraint in the hallway next to the triage station awaiting psychiatric social work assessment. Approximately 40 minutes later, the triage nurse noticed that the patient was missing from the gurney.