MANAGE BEHAVIORAL EMERGENCIES
Dealing with an individual who has an extreme, confused, or violent behavior could
cause serious injury to you or the individual himself. This lesson presents common
characteristics of the acutely alcohol intoxicated, the disoriented, and the violent patient.
It also presents management procedures of the violent patient who is unarmed and of the
violent patient who is armed.
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
You must first become familiar with terms and definitions of behavior emergencies
as listed below.
a. Alcoholic Hallucinations. These are hallucinations that are seen in the
alcoholic patient as part of the alcoholic withdrawal syndrome.
b. Anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear with no
identifiable cause (faceless fear).
c. Delirium. Delirium is disorientation for time and place, usually with
hallucinations and delusions. It is a state of mental confusion and excitement.
d. Delirium Tremens. Delirium tremens is a serious manifestation of the alcohol
withdrawal syndrome with restlessness, fever, confusion, agitation, disorientation, and
hallucinations. These patients are extremely ill and have a high mortality rate.
e. Dementia. Dementia is an irreversible deterioration of intellectual faculties with
emotional disturbance and disorientation; usually due to an organic disease of the brain
(for example, "senile dementia" in the elderly).
f. Disorientation. Disorientation is a disturbed mental state characterized by
confusion regarding one's relationship to physical surroundings, time, or person.
g. Disturbed. Being disturbed refers to having emotional problems--to be
troubled emotionally or mentally.
h. Hallucinations. A hallucination is sensory impression (sight, touch, sound,
smell, or taste) that has no basis in external stimulation. It can have psychological
causes (mental illness) or can result from drugs, alcohol, or organic illnesses.
i. Intoxication. A person who is intoxicated is affected by alcohol or another
drug to the point of losing physical and mental control.