Title

Managing aggressive and violent patients

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

All healthcare workers, especially general practitioners and staff in emergency departments, are likely to encounter aggression and violence. This behaviour may be caused by a medical illness, a psychiatric illness or drug intoxication or withdrawal. These problems can occur in combination. It is important that a diagnosis is made, but in some cases the patient may need sedation before they can be examined. If non-drug management, such as de-escalation techniques, does not work, a benzodiazepine or antipsychotic can be considered. It is essential that sedated patients are monitored for signs of oversedation. Practice design and policies as well as staff training can help to reduce the risk of violence.

Comments

Australian Prescriber is an Open Access publication and this article may be accessed from the publisher here

Australian Prescriber may be accessed from the National Library of Australia here