Monday, September 28, 2015

Dazzler in the ED

The Emergency Department may represent an appropriate setting for the non-lethal Dazzler technology.  Public Safety routinely delivers drug intoxicated and mentally agitated patients to Emergency Department for medical clearance.  Many of these agitated patients pose an immediate threat to themselves and staff.  Aggressive patients routinely physically attack staff and can cause injury to themselves.

Emergency physicians have to medical responsibility to both physically and chemically restrain the agitated patient who posses an eminent physical threat to themselves and staff.  While ED physicians have access to powerful drugs that can tranquilize and even paralyze an abusive, agitated patient, chemical restraint first requires physical restraint.  You can't give an acutely agitated patient a sedation shot without his being first physically restrained.  The ED does not use dart guns or blow darts. 

Physical restraint involves placement of soft leather or thick canvas restraints on wrists and ankles. To place these restraints on the patient safely requires 4-6 hospital security personnel to tackle the patient and physically hold them down while the restraints are being placed. In some cases, County Sheriffs Deputies have used Pepper Spray or a Taser in the ED.  

Pepper Spray is terrible and should never be used in the ED for any reason.  The ED is not well ventilated and the pepper spray will affect other patients and staff.

Taser, has the potential for injury because the  patient loses voluntary control of muscles and can be injured in the fall. 

Dazzler, may be an effective tool for ED staff to incapacitate a patient allowing them to be safely physically and chemically sedated with minimal harm to the patients and staff.

No comments: