Psychiatric Emergencies in Psychiatric Hospitals in Germany

Translated title of the contribution: Psychiatric Emergencies in Psychiatric Hospitals in Germany

Dirk Schwerthöffer, David Beuys, Johannes Hamann, Thomas Messer, Frank Gerald Pajonk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Psychiatric hospitals are confronted with high rates of psychiatric emergencies. There are, however, only few investigations that focus on psychiatric emergency care in German psychiatric hospitals, their supply structures and diagnostic and treatment standards. The aim of the survey was a systematic acquisition of the diagnostic and therapeutic approach in treating psychiatric emergencies in German psychiatric hospitals. Methods: We conducted a survey in psychiatric hospitals throughout Germany. The questionnaire consisted of questions concerning the structures of supply and diagnostic and therapeutic standards treating psychiatric emergencies. Results: 42 % of all admissions to German psychiatric hospitals were emergency admissions. More than 60 % of the patients in psychiatric emergency ambulances had to receive inpatient treatment. As standard procedures for medical clearing in psychiatric emergencies physical examination, measurement of heart rate and blood pressure and conducting certain laboratory tests and breath alcohol were named. The most common psychopharmacological agents for emergency situations were diazepam, lorazepam, haloperidol and zuclopenthixol. Conclusion: Diagnosing and treating psychiatric emergencies need more standardisation. More specific data is required to generate diagnostic and therapeutic standards.

Translated title of the contributionPsychiatric Emergencies in Psychiatric Hospitals in Germany
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatrische Praxis
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • ambulance
  • diagnostic standard
  • psychiatric emergency setting
  • systematic survey


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