Managing the acutely agitated behavioral health emergency

Key takeaways for police and EMS from SWAT physician, Dr. Faroukh M. Mehkri

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Faroukh M. Mehkri is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas SW Medical Center as well as a SWAT physician with the Dallas Police Department. He recently presented a session at the International Association of Police Chiefs Conference in Dallas, “Management of the acutely agitated behavioral health emergency: A patrol nightmare.”

In this edition of EMS One-Stop, Host Rob Lawrence chats with Dr. Mehkri about his lecture and his 15-month deep dive into behavioral health emergency patients, their outcomes, the situations surrounding the calls, and both police and EMS interventions.

Dr. Mehkri delivers key takeaways for both a police and EMS audience:  

  1. Words matter, in your documentation and on your body camera
  2. Physical restraint kills – so we must minimize this activity
  3. Chemical sedation for medication management saves. “Inviting” the medic to “just give them something” is a slippery slope
  4. Monitor, monitor, monitor
  5. The person is the patient!

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