Psychiatric Emergencies

  • Ryan Spangler


The care of a psychiatric patient experiencing an acute exacerbation of their illnesses can be resource intensive as well as challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. The task can be even more daunting when called upon to assess and intervene while confined and restricted to the space and resources of a mid-flight aircraft. This chapter aims to educate the provider on some of the most common psychiatric related situations likely to be encountered while flying. Psychiatric illness, especially anxiety-related disorders, is very common and may be encountered in flight; however, agitated individuals without prior psychiatric illness are becoming an increasingly prevalent problem and may be encountered as well. We discuss the provider’s options in treatment, management, and responsibility in dealing with these difficult patient scenarios.


Psychiatric Anxiety Panic disorder Air rage Psychosis Commercial aircraft Commercial aviation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan Spangler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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