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Care of the Suicidal Pediatric Patient in the ED: A Case Study

Schmid, Alexis M. MS, RN, CPNP-PC/AC, CPEN; Truog, Amy W. BSN, RN, CPEN; Damian, Frances J. MS, RN, NEA-BC

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: September 2011 - Volume 111 - Issue 9 - pp 34-43
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000405060.13022.b7
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Overview: The suicide rate among children and adolescents has increased worldwide over the past few decades, and many who attempt suicide are first seen at EDs. At Childrens Hospital Boston (CHB), an algorithm—the Risk of Suicidality Clinical Practice Algorithm—has been developed to ensure evidence-based care supported by best practice guidelines. The authors of this article provide an overview of pediatric suicide and suicide attempts; describe screening, assessment, and interventions used at CHB; and discuss the nursing implications. An illustrative case study is also provided.

Keywords: algorithm, Asperger's syndrome, attempted suicide, bullying, emergency, emergency department, patient safety, pediatrics, pediatric suicide, suicide, suicide screening, triage

This article provides an overview of pediatric suicide; describes screening, assessment, and interventions; and discusses the nursing implications.

Alexis M. Schmid is an acute care pediatric NP in the medical surgical ICU and a per diem staff nurse in the ED, Amy W. Truog is a staff nurse III in the ED, and Frances J. Damian is the ED's director of nursing and patient services, all at Children's Hospital Boston. Contact author: Alexis M. Schmid, alexis.schmid@childrens.harvard.edu. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.