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Research Letter
February 17, 2020

Characteristics of Mental Health Patients Boarding for Longer Than 24 Hours in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Pediatr. Published online February 17, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.5991

With increasing rates of mental health illness among children in the United States and diminishing community health resources, pediatric emergency departments (EDs) face higher volumes of patients presenting with psychiatric concerns.1,2 Many patients who require psychiatric hospitalization board in the ED despite needing treatment that extends beyond the scope of most EDs.2 While EDs are tasked with providing extended care for patients with acute mental illness, little is reported on the clinical characteristics or interventions used in managing high-risk patients awaiting placement.

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