Emergency Care of the Mentally Ill

Pat Salber

First published 4/17/11 on The Doctor Weighs In

Say you are grappling with a chronic mental illness….bipolar disease or schizophrenia.  You have been told you need to take your medications as prescribed, but you can’t… or you won’t… or you do… but on your own timetable.  Your symptoms get worse and your family gets nervous.  You are doing things that scare them.  It is the middle of the night, so they do the logical thing.   They take you to the closest emergency department.

Emergency Departments are pretty wild places a lot of the time.  Thanks to ED overcrowding, chances are there is a full waiting room with people in various states of disarray (some are bleeding, some are vomiting, some are squeaky clean and others are disheveled and reeking of (pick one):  alcohol, urine, cigarettes, vomit, “Aroma of Street,” or dried blood.  You are freaking out…but you are told you have to wait until they can get to you.

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Smartphone Apps for ER Docs – Yeah!


Originally published 2/7/11 on The Doctor Weighs In

Thanks to Sam Ko, MD and the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (Cal/ACEP)  for this list of  iPhone Apps for Emergency Medicine.  The info in this post was first published  in Cal/ACEP January 2011 newsletter:  Lifeline.

I love it that ER docs are using their smart phones as reference books – it is so much better than when I was in the ER  – slinking off to the doctor’s room to look up stuff in the PDR or whatever new (or mostly old) Emergency Medicine text books happened to be on the ER book shelves.  Once I looked up stuff I couldn’t remember, I could go back to the patient and/or family and look and sound knowledgeable about the topic at hand.

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