Managing the acutely agitated behavioral health emergency

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


This episode of EMS One-Stop with Rob Lawrence is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit lexipol.com

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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