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Nearly all agitated patients should have the opportunity to calm themselves down prior to physical restraints or chemical sedation. Many patient's given this chance may avoid further intervention and improves the safety for the patient and the staff.
Although restraints should be avoided if possible, they may be necessary in extremely agitated patients. Key things to remember when employing restraints are:
Chemical sedation may become necessary in the agitated patient despite other measures. Medication choice is dependent on the specific characteristics of the patient and the context of their agitation.
Patients without medical complaints are unlikely to have findings elucidated on labs. Limiting testing in these patients may be useful unless they have obvious medical complaints or high risk history (altered mental status, ingestion, hanging, traumatic injury, unrelated medical complaint, rape). In appropriate females, a pregnancy test may be useful.