An emergency service for psychiatric patients was organized in a general hospital owing to the increasing need for such a service. Its main functions have been to screen cases, to offer short-term treatment, and to provide immediate consultation facilities to general practitioners and clinical experience to students, interns and residents.Of 133 patients, 40% were diagnosed as psychotic and 35% as neurotic. The commonest presenting symptoms were anxiety and depression. Approximately 40% were treated by the staff of the emergency service, 40% were sent back to the general practitioner for treatment, and 20% were transferred to a mental hospital.It is concluded that this type of service can provide immediate and effective consultation and treatment for psychiatric emergencies, and is a very useful teaching facility, especially for students and physicians not intending to specialize in psychiatry.
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Violent behaviour by patients in the Psychiatric Department in Frederiksberg Hospital was registered during a period of seven months. A total of 135 violent episodes by a total of 35 patients were registered. Female patients were responsible for 84% of the episodes. 53% occurred during day hours and were often precipitated by attempts to limit the behaviour of the patients. In 111 cases, violence was directed to the staff. Staff members experienced sequelae in 87 cases. None of the episodes were notified to the local insurance organisations.