Year: 1997 Source: General Hospital Psychiatry, v.19, no.2, (March 1997), p.119-129 SIEC No: 20010364

The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of psychiatric emergencies when the precipitating event for the emergency room visit was a suicide attempt, compared with other reasons for admission. 163 cases were studied. Compared with other emergencies, suicide attempters were better integrated in occupational & private life. They were more often referred by others, & significant others were more frequently involved in the consultation. Nevertheless, the suicide attempters were hospitalized significantly more often. It was concluded clinicians should not automatically refer suicide attempters for inpatient treatment, particularly in low-risk patients & when suicidal intent & lethality are not too threatening. Residents should be instructed more thoroughly in suicidology before being assigned to the emergency room. (34 refs.)