Excited Delirium Syndrome

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Excited Delirium Syndrome is a cause of sudden death on an individual who is confused, irrational, delusional and violent. They may present high risk in this manner: a. A prior episode of excited delirium b. Violent and aggressive behavior c. Use of medication that increases the release or blocks reuptake of norepinephrine d. Cardiac disease e. Asthma or any pulmonary disease involving restriction of airway f. Epilepsy g. Use of stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine Age is not a factor. Behavior characteristics are: a. Verbal threats of violence b. Screaming, swearing, shouting at others c. Breaking or throwing objects d. Motor agitation, rigid/taut body expressions with poor concentration e. Projecting angry emotions onto another (e.g. blaming) f. Nonverbal behavior of rejecting others g. Pacing, restlessness, inability to sleep or eat, hyperactivity, history of violent behavior with need for physical restraint h. Delusions and confusion of mental state i. Defiance j. Bullying others k. Using stimulants (e.g. cocaine, methamphetamine) l. Paranoid behavior with auditory hallucinations. References Lynch, Virginia A. and Duval, Janet Barber. (2006). Forensic Nursing. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby

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