Recognizing Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome in the Emergency Department: A Case Study
Article first published online: 25 MAR 2010
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Perspectives in Psychiatric Care
Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 143–151, April 2010
How to Cite
Agar, L. (2010), Recognizing Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome in the Emergency Department: A Case Study. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 46: 143–151. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2010.00250.x
- Issue published online: 25 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 25 MAR 2010
- First Received April 21, 2009; Revision received September 18, 2009; Accepted for Publication September 24, 2009.
- Emergency department;
- neuroleptic malignant syndrome;
- psychiatric nursing;
PURPOSE. A case study is presented to discuss the importance of accurate assessment of a patient in the emergency department (ED) who develops neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
CONCLUSIONS. There has been a significant increase in the number of patients with psychiatric emergencies seeking treatment in the ED. The most frequently used medication for treating these patients is a high-potency typical antipsychotic (neuroleptic). Although NMS is a rare condition, it is a potentially fatal complication of neuroleptic medications.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS. Early identification of this potentially life-threatening syndrome will lead to prompt treatment and improve the care of this vulnerable population.