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Wake Forest Baptist research provides clue to unexplained excited delirium deaths
Date:6/20/2012

eman said. "The amount of adrenaline in the body can affect Long QT Syndrome. In some people, electrical abnormalities are there all the time, while in others they are transient," he said.

Bozeman said Long QT Syndrome may be a missing link that can explain some of the cases of people suffering sudden cardiac arrest after experiencing ExD. "The mechanism of people just suddenly collapsing and dying unexpectedly remains a mystery. Weeks later, even after autopsy and toxicology reports are available, there is sometimes still no clear explanation. This suggests an abnormal cardiac rhythm as a cause."

The most common cause of ExD appears to be drug use, with the second most common cause being psychiatric problems and/or medications, followed by a variety of other causes. "Excited Delirium is not a diagnosis; it's a clinical syndrome that may have a variety of causes, but they all present in a similar way with agitation, confusion or delirium, violence, and superhuman-like strength."

Bozeman said that American College of Emergency Physicians recently joined the National Association of Medical Examiners to categorize ExD as a clinical syndrome, an action that also points to the importance of education for law enforcement and other public safety personnel in dealing with situations like the one described in the case study. By treating ExD as a medical condition and bringing people to an emergency department instead of jail, Bozeman said it could "lead to the prevention of in-custody deaths."


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Contact: Bonnie Davis
bdavis@wakehealth.edu
336-399-8274
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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