ED Management – August 1, 2018
August 1, 2018
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Experts point to insufficient mental healthcare resources in the United States as one of the key drivers of the rising suicide rate. However, these experts emphasize that emergency providers have a front-row seat to the problem, and can play an important role in prevention. To address the issue, a growing number of EDs are implementing universal screening to identify patients at risk for suicide. Such steps must be paired with effective protocols to connect at-risk patients with appropriate interventions.
In 2016 alone, 45,000 people committed suicide. Data show suicide is one of only three leading causes of death that are increasing.
There may be fewer drug shortages than in other recent years, but some shortages are more severe, according to experts. Emergency providers report these shortages are affecting patient care. In particular, emergency providers are struggling to deal with a shortage of IV opioid analgesic drugs that has been in effect since the end of 2017. They are working with hospital pharmacists to conserve such drugs for patients most in need and to find alternative therapies.