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Hallucinations, Emergency Medicine

Reviewed 06/2017
 


Basics

Description

Hallucinations are a symptom or feature and not a diagnosis. They may be auditory, visual, tactile, gustatory, or olfactory. Hallucinations and similar phenomena are often defined as...

Diagnosis

Signs and Symptoms

History

  • Obtaining accurate and thorough history often difficult

    • Collateral history should be obtained from bystanders, EMS, police, family, physicians

  • Assess for changes in be...

Treatment

Pre-Hospital

Observe details of patient's environment not available to hospital care team 
  • Disorganized living environment

  • Drug paraphernalia

Initial Stabilization/Therapy

  • Address ABC's and any a...

Follow-Up

Disposition

Admission Criteria

Disposition determined by medical condition or psychiatric evaluation. Hallucinations from some intoxications such as methamphetamine or cannabis may persist eve...

Pearls and Pitfalls

  • Do not assume that auditory hallucinations are always from psychiatric illness whereas visual, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory hallucinations are nonpsychiatric – always perform ...

Additional Reading

  • El-Mallakh  RS, Walker  KL. Hallucinations, psuedohallucinations, and parahallucinations. Psychiatry.  2010;73(1):34–42.

  • Piechniczek-Buczek  J. Psychiatric emergencies in the el...

Codes

ICD9

  • 291.3 Alcohol-induced psychotic disorder with hallucinations

  • 368.16 Psychophysical visual disturbances

  • 780.1 Hallucinations

ICD10

  • F10.951 Alcohol use, unsp w alcoh-induce psych disorder w halluc...

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