Suicide is the second most common cause of death in young males (RTA is 1st). In England and Wales the most common method of suicide is self-poisoning with car exhaust fumes in men, and drug overdose in women.
In 2004 1.5% of Emergency Department (ED) attendances are from those with mental health issues. These patients often remain in departments for prolonged periods awaiting psychiatric assessment. Suicide rates are substantially higher in people suffering from a mental illness.
The RCEM Standards for Mental Health are as follows:
Patients who have self-harmed should have a risk assessment in the ED
Previous mental health issues should be documented in the patient’s clinical record
A Mental State Examination (MSE) should be recorded in the patient’s clinical record
The provisional diagnosis should be documented in the patient’s clinical record
Details of any referral or follow-up arrangements should be documented in the patient’s clinical record
From the time of referral, a member of the mental health team will see the patient within 1 hour
An appropriate facility is available for the assessment of mental health patients in the ED
Learning Outcomes from the tasks
Manage and assess a patient who presents with self harm.
Identify risk factors for further self harm and suicide following an act of self harm.
Understand the main principles of the Mental Capacity Act and how to apply them in practice.
Plan the initial management of psychiatric patients in the Emergency Department.
Differentiate between organic and non-organic causes for altered behaviour and thinking.
Evaluate the features in a patient, which may compromise safety in the Emergency Department.
Identify common toxidromes for various poisoning presentations.
Recognise and manage Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
Learning Outcome from face-to-face
Understand the role of activated charcoal, and recall certain poisons that it is not effective for (O.I.L.E).
Manage patients that present with poisoning to the Emergency Department by using TOXBASE effectively.
Refer patients appropriately to both medical and psychiatric services if required.
Demonstrate how to manage paracetamol overdose safely.
Appreciate and manage some common overdose cases that present to the Emergency Department.
Complete the following before the face to face session:
Task 2: Disturbed or Psychiatric Patients in the ED
Duration: 60 mins
This is a great module that covers psychiatric assessment in the Emergency Department and the management of the disturbed patient. All aspects of the curriculum are covered in this module.
Task 3: Do You Think It Could be Poison?
Duration: 20 mins
This video from SMACC is by an Australian consultant toxicologist. He aims to give you an approach to a patient who has taken an overdose, his talk includes some discussion of paediatric overdoses. He covers a little bit of how to integrate toxicology into ALS.
He illustrates some key points with some entertaining cases. Finally it is worth watching to the end as his final anecdote is quite funny! We have summarised the talk as an infographic here.
Task 4: Toxidromes
Duration: 10 mins
Have a look at this illustrated table of common toxidrome from sketchy medicine.
Task 5: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Duration: 15 mins
Especially relevant in the winter months carbon monoxide poisoning can be easily missed so it needs to be on your radar. It also needs to be considered in anybody who has been exposed to fire or smoke. This summary from life in the fast lane covers all the main points.
You should familiarise yourself with relevant Local Guidelines, but for East Midlands Trainees we are aiming to host these on the website shortly (although this may password protected).
In the meantime please review your local guidelines relevant to mental health and toxicology.
We have written a series of interactive cases (wikis) with short answer questions to be answered by trainees prior to the face to face teaching sessions. Currently this is only available to East Midlands Trainees.
Answer one or two questions before attending the face-to-face teaching session. Add comments to answers already given if you think it's appropriate. We will also provide tutor comments. If you find good resources that answer a question why not include links in your comment.
Part of the face-to-face teaching will be spent discussing the case(s) below:
Why Do Doctors Commit Suicide?
This article from the NYTimes makes for a challenging read, but is worth considering and stark reminder that it is not just patients we need to look out for.
The goto resource for all ingestions http://www.toxbase.org
Podcast on tricyclic overdoses.
BROMLEY CASE OF THE WEEK:
Case 59: Poisonous pop? an accidental ingestion.
Two cases from Canada: one a young man who has taken MDMA, the other a case of poisoning from a rarer drug of abuse.
Royal College of Emergency Medicine:
AAGBI - direct link to the AAGBI management tool for LA toxicity
Lipidrescue - referenced by Weingart in his TCA overdose podcast this website is dedicated to discussion around the use of intralipid for various poisons.
Royal College of Psychiatrists:
Once you have worked through the exercises, discussed the example cases and attended the face-to-face teaching, please complete the following form: