Treating the violent and psychotic patient: A clinical guide to potential cardiac complications

Nicole Renee Graham, Garth Nigel Graham


In effectively treating the violent and psychotic patient, medical professionals are charged with the task of mitigating harm to all involved. While non-pharmacologic methods are often employed first, chemical restraint may also be necessary. The agents most often utilized in the management of such patients include antipsychotics – first and second generation agents – and benzodiazepines. When considering use of these agents, it is prudent that nurses appreciate the potential risks, including those of a cardiac nature given that they represent some of the most dangerous. This review article aims to highlight the potential cardiac complications and provide guidance in navigating this important task of harm mitigation for the violent and psychotic patient.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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