Management Of Armed Violent Patient

Procedures for managing a violent patient who is armed are given below.

a. Leave the area quickly, if possible.

b. Warn all personnel to clear the area and notify authorities (for example, MPs).

c. If you are unable to leave the area:

(1) Keep talking to the patient, allowing no prolonged silences to develop. Try saying things such as:

(a) "You can do a lot of harm if you want to, even without the gun."

(b) "You look frightened and I feel frightened."

(c) "I'd like to help you, but I'm concerned you might do something you can't take back with that gun. Could you please put it down, or let me hold it for you until we can finish talking about what it troubling you?"

(2) Make no abrupt movements--if the patient will not give up his weapon, he may at least be willing to put it into his pocket or into a nearby desk drawer.

(3) Offer free access to exits.

(a) Ask if he would feel better leaving the room or staying there.

(b) Stand away from the doors. The patient may have mixed feelings. He may feel comfortable and cooperative or trapped and cornered.

(c) The behavior of patient may depend on your position and reaction.

(4) If the patient leaves the room, alert all personnel and police (or MPs).

d. After your encounter with a violent patient (armed or unarmed), meet with the staff or unit personnel and inform them what was done and why.

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