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Excited Delirium

NCJ Number
Western Journal of Emergency Medicine Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2011 Pages: 77-83
Asia Takeuchi, M.D.; Terence L. Ahern, B.A.; Sean O. Henderson, M.D.
Date Published
February 2011
7 pages
This study examined excited (or agitated) delirium.
Excited (or agitated) delirium is characterized by agitation, aggression, acute distress and sudden death, often in the pre-hospital care setting. It is typically associated with the use of drugs that alter dopamine processing, hyperthermia, and, most notably, sometimes with death of the affected person in the custody of law enforcement. Subjects typically die from cardiopulmonary arrest, although the cause is debated. Unfortunately an adequate treatment plan has yet to be established, in part due to the fact that most patients die before hospital arrival. While there is still much to be discovered about the pathophysiology and treatment, it is hoped that this extensive review will provide both police and medical personnel with the information necessary to recognize and respond appropriately to excited delirium. (Published Abstract)