The Violent or Agitated Patient

Jennifer Rossi, Megan C. Swan, Eric D. Isaacs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Violent and agitated patients are high risk because they may pose a physical threat to the staff, may harm themselves, and may have dangerous comorbidities and illness that are causing the violence. The emergency physician must quickly control these behaviors, and thoroughly identify and treat their etiology, while simultaneously protecting the patients' rights and reducing the risks of injury to themselves, other patients, and medical staff. This article highlights potentially high-risk situations and describes corresponding mitigation tactics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-256
Number of pages22
JournalEmergency Medicine Clinics of North America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Agitated
  • Psychiatric
  • Restraints
  • Sedation
  • Substance abuse
  • Violent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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