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AGITATION OR BEHAVIOR DYSFUNCTION

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PHYSICAL DATA

. Vital signs
. Lung and stomach evaluation
. Details of the behavior problem (onset, frequency,
duration, characteristics, etc. )
. Neurological assessment, including specifics of mood,
orientation, and level of consciousness
. Any signals indicating possible infection
‘ Any significant changes in bowel and bladder function
. Any evidence of head trauma or some other recent injury
. Assessment of any pain (location, character, severeness, etc. )

MEDICAL BACKGROUND

. Patient’s age and sex
. Onset, timeframe, frequency, and severeness
. Food and fluid intake patterns over preceding week
. Complete account of behavior in comparison to usual behavior
. Any recent record of injury or fall
‘ All current prescription drugs, including any recent changes
. Record of any psychiatric disorders
. All current medical diagnoses
. Any recent lab or diagnostic test results, especially BMP
(Basic Metabolic Profile )
. Recent blood sugar trends, if affected person is diabetic

The term “agitation” is normally used to
express symptoms. Instead of using the word
“agitation” by itself, express the behavior using
terms to show what the behavior is demonstrating
such as frustration, uneasyness, aggression,
shouting, rummaging, opposition to care,
disinhibition, and roaming. Be extremely precise
when reporting the conduct to the practitioner.
Try to remember the circumstance preceding the behavior.

You will need to play detective and discover the
origin of the “agitated” behavior. Agitation can
result from frustration of having an impairment,
or the difficulty of making progress in recuperating
from sickness or injury.
Particular drugs may lead to behavior modifications
such as antiarrhythmic agents, anticholinergic
agents (and medications with anticholinergic
effects or side effects), anticonvulsants,
antidepressant, antiemetics, antihistamines/
decongestants, antihypertensive agents,
antineoplastic agents, antimanic agents, anti-
Parkinson’s agents, antipsychotics, anxiolytics,
corticosteroids, muscle relaxants, opioids,
sedatives/sleeping medicines.

A patient’s agitated behavior is better described with action words such as: irritability, restlessness, resistance to care, disinhibition, wandering, etc. Avoid using only the term “agitated” to describe the patient’s behavior. When reporting to the practitioner, facts associated with the behavior are important. Inquire about the patient’s situation preceding the agitated behavior. Remember that frustration (having a physical/mental impairment or recovering from an illness/injury) leads to agitation.

Behavior changes can occur when using certain medications such as antiarrhythmic agents, anticholinergic agents (and medications with anticholinergic effects or side effects),  anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antiemetics, antihistamines/decongestants, antihypertensive agents, antineoplastic agents, antimanic agents, anti-Parkinson’s agents, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, corticosteroids, muscle relaxants, opioids, sedatives/sleep medication.

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