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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2001 Winter;9(1):78-80.

Adverse outcome with delay in identification of catatonia in elderly patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, USA.


All three patients to show catatonia at a teaching veterans' hospital over a 1-year period were over 60 years old. Each experienced delays of 2-5 months in identification of catatonia and adverse events attributable to the delay (e.g., pulmonary embolus, physical restraint, pneumonia, mislabeling as "advanced dementia," Do Not Resuscitate orders, and death). These outcomes suggest that geriatric patients with unrecognized catatonia are at high risk for major adverse events.

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