Skip to main content

Agitation, Emergency Medicine

Maura Kennedy Reviewed 06/2017
 


Basics

Description

Agitation, a state of extreme restlessness 
  • Characterized by increased verbal and motor activity

  • Can be the presenting symptom of a variety of medical (organic) and psychiatric (functi...

Diagnosis

Signs and Symptoms

A detailed history and physical exam are critical in differentiating between medical and psychiatric causes of agitation. 

History

  • The HPI has a sensitivity of 94% in detecti...

Treatment

Pre-Hospital

Pre-hospital providers frequently encounter agitated or violent patients and should: 
  • Follow regional protocols regarding physical and chemical restraints

  • Provide prenotification w...

Follow-Up

Disposition

Admission Criteria

Disposition is ultimately determined by the underlying cause of the agitation and whether the condition resolves. 
Admission is warranted if there is an underlyin...

Pearls and Pitfalls

Search for potential medical illnesses causing the agitation 
  • Factors suggestive of organic causes include:

    • New onset at age >45

    • Abnormal vital signs

    • Focal neurologic abnormalities

    • A...

Additional Reading

  • Lukens  TW, Wolf  SJ, Edlow  JA, et al, from the American College of Emergency Physicians Clinical Police Subcommittee. Clinical Policy: Critical issues in the diagnosis and managem...

Codes

ICD9

307.9 Other and unspecified special symptoms or syndromes, not elsewhere classified 

ICD10

R45.1 Restlessness and agitation 

SNOMED

  • 24199005 Feeling agitated (finding)

  • 47295007 Psychomotor agitat...

Subscribe to Access Full Content

Sign Up for a 10-Day Free Trial

Sign up for a 10-day FREE Trial now and receive full access to all content.

×