Objective: The objective of this article is to set out consensus guidelines for the assessment and management of “suicidal patients” in the emergency department.
Conclusions: Clinicians should be respectful and reassuring. They should review old notes, conduct a full history and examination, and talk to friends, family and any practitioners already involved in the patient’s care. Management should be guided, where possible, by the patient’s preferences, not by notions of risk. Every negotiated management plan and its rationale should be carefully documented.