Best Practices for Evaluation and Treatment of Agitated Children and Adolescents (BETA) in the Emergency Department: Consensus Statement of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry
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Best Practices for Evaluation and Treatment of Agitated Children and Adolescents (BETA) in the Emergency Department: Consensus Statement of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry

  • Author(s): Gerson, Ruth
  • Malas, Nasuh
  • Feuer, Vera
  • Silver, Gabrielle H.
  • Prasad, Raghuram
  • Mroczkowski, Megan M.
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction: Agitation in children and adolescents in the emergency department (ED) can be dangerous and distressing for patients, family and staff. We present consensus guidelines for management of agitation among pediatric patients in the ED, including non-pharmacologic methods and the use of immediate and as-needed medications.

Methods: Using the Delphi method of consensus, a workgroup comprised of 17 experts in emergency child and adolescent psychiatry and psychopharmacology from the the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Emergency Child Psychiatry Committee sought to create consensus guidelines for the management of acute agitation in children and adolescents in the ED.

Results: Consensus found that there should be a multimodal approach to managing agitation in the ED, and that etiology of agitation should drive choice of treatment. We describe general and specific recommendations for medication use.

Conclusion: These guidelines describing child and adolescent psychiatry expert consensus for the management of agitation in the ED may be of use to pediatricians and emergency physicians who are without immediate access to psychiatry consultation.

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