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American Academy of Emergency Medicine

AAEM Announces New Position Statements on Psychiatric Patients in the Emergency Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2014

Contact: Laura Burns
Communications Manager
lburns@aaem.org
800-884-2236                       

MILWAUKEE — The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) announces two new position statements approved at the August meeting of the board of directors.

Psychiatric Boarders in the Emergency Department
In response to the increased number of psychiatric patients who present to the emergency department (ED), AAEM has released a position statement on boarding these patients in the ED.

Emergency department boarding is a poor option for the psychiatric patient as it compromises their comfort, privacy and medical and psychiatric care. AAEM recommends that the psychiatric services at each hospital be actively and regularly involved in the management of psychiatric patients who board in the ED.

AAEM calls upon hospitals, health care institutions and community mental health resources to seek alternative options other than ED boarding to hold psychiatric patients awaiting hospitalization or transfer to an appropriate facility.

Read the full position statement at: http://www.aaem.org/em-resources/position-statements/2014.

Routine Laboratory Testing of Psychiatric Patients in the Emergency Department is Unnecessary
AAEM believes that evidence for testing psychiatric patients as part of medical clearance process clearly states that the testing should be clinically based, similar to other patients in the ED, and, individually based upon the particular patient presentation. 

Consistent with the literature on the topic, AAEM opposes routine laboratory testing of psychiatric patients in the ED as part of medical clearance process. Laboratory testing of psychiatric patients in the ED should be dependent on the patient’s clinical presentation, based on the judgment of the attending emergency physician.

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   The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) is the specialty society in emergency medicine             today. As an organization, AAEM believes achievement of board certification represents the only acceptable method of attaining recognition as a specialist in emergency medicine.

For more information, please visit www.aaem.org or call 800-884-2236.
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