The First Few Minutes

Identifying and Managing Life-Threatening Emergencies
  • Ellen L. Bassuk
  • Andrew E. Skodol
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


A small percentage of patients using emergency settings present with problems requiring immediate containment and treatment. Within the first few minutes of meeting any patient, the clinician must complete a focused assessment and, in a few cases, rapidly translate his observations and impressions into action. Although the patient may be uncommunicative, resistant, and difficult to contain, even a very brief examination provides important clues about the nature of the disorder (e.g., organic versus functional) and forms a basis for developing a rational and safe management plan.


Cocaine Hydrochloride Diazepam Amphetamine Naloxone 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen L. Bassuk
    • 1
  • Andrew E. Skodol
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Biometrics Research DepartmentNew York State Psychiatric InstituteNew YorkUSA

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