Tactics for Combative Patients

By Michael W. WeaverThe call comes in as “Police on-scene request medic evaluation for bizarre behavior.” On fire department arrival, the patient becomes agitated, and his behavior deteriorates into open aggressiveness toward responders. Did police leave after fire department arrival? Was a path of egress left open? Is the patient intent on harm, or does he just want to run away? Oftentimes, this scenario involves a physical confrontation.Emergency responders surround the patient, who is kicking, screaming, and trying to bite, while responders try to control him and gain his cooperation. After extreme effort, responders bring order to the chaos. They apply restraints, start IV...

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