Excited delirium syndrome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excited delirium syndrome involves extreme agitation and aggression in a
patient with an altered mental status; around one in ten cases ends in cardiac
arrest. It has two main triggers: acute drug use and psychiatric illness. Patients
display violent behaviour, increased pain tolerance and great strength; they pose
significant risks to themselves and those around them. Maintaining safety on
scene is paramount, which can be supported by a dual response by paramedics
and law enforcement officers, and the patient is likely to need restraining or
sedation. Treatment is non-specific and involves managing symptoms and
complications such as hyperthermia, acidosis and rhabdomyolysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Paramedic Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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