Theresa G. DiMaio, Vincent J.M. DiMaio, M.D.
Published September 22, 2005
Reference - 164 Pages - 1 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780849316111 - CAT# 1611
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A psychiatric patient suddenly becomes violent. The hospital staff struggles to control the patient with four point restraint. While order has been restored and the patient has been restrained – she dies soon afterward…
Criminal and civil cases often cite “positional asphyxia” as the cause of death in such instances, blaming the rough treatment individuals may have received during restraint. The authors of Excited Delirium Syndrome: Cause of Death and Prevention, however, propose a different explanation. In this groundbreaking book, they cite the reason being a condition called Excited Delirium Syndrome, in which the normal physiological changes produced by violent activity culminate in sudden cardiac death, often in conjunction with the effects of a drug.
After introducing the topic, the book recounts the condition’s history and examines traditional explanations as to why such deaths occur, and then counter as to why they are not justifiable. In addition, it illustrates the effects that stressors, legal medication, and drugs of abuse have on the cardiovascular system. The effects of underlying disease, including endogenous mental disease are also discussed. In addition, the book details prevention, assesses the role of first responders, investigators, and mental health professionals, and describes “high-risk” individuals.
These topics, along with the many actual case studies that provide further insight, make Excited Delirium Syndrome: Cause of Death and Prevention an essential resource for anyone treating or interacting with those that may have this disorder.
“This short, easy-to-read, 10-chapter book provides current information on the syndrome, dispels common myths, and provides prevention strategies on how to interact with individuals experiencing and excited delirium. It also provides a well-constructed discussion of the chronology of the mechanism resulting in sudden death during an episode of excited delirium with extensive references. … will be of greatest benefit for nurses who interact with psychiatric patients. It outlines the features used to identify patients susceptible to excited delirium and the actions to prevent sudden death. … is a useful reference tool for both legal and medical professionals who may come face-to-face with an individual exhibiting these symptoms. The chapters are well organized and laid out, easy to read, and provide useful information and references. Again, this book is an excellent resource to all members of the law enforcement, forensic, investigation, treatment, and prosecuting teams. …”
— Steven A. Koehler, Forensic Epidemiologist for the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office, Pittsburg, PA, in the Journal of Forensic Nursing, Vol. 2, No. 4, Winter 2006
"The authors’ poignant description of what those who work in the trenches experience on a daily basis is alone worth the read and rounds out the entire discussion."
– Kathryn A. LaFortune, Chief, Forensic Psychological Services, Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, in Jurimetrics, Winter 2008, Vol. 48, No. 2