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Article   |    
Weapon Carrying Among Patients in a Psychiatric Emergency Room
Allan A. Anderson; A. Y. Ghali; Rakesh K. Bansil
Psychiatric Services 1989; doi:
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Eastern Shore Mental Health Clinic in Nassawadox, Virginia

Department of Psychiatry at the New Jersey Medical School, East Orange (N.J.) Medical Center

Adult Services at the Community Mental Health Center in Newark

1989 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Weapon carrying is not a rare event among patients seen in psychiatric emergency services, and apparently no characteristics can effectively predict which patients carry weapons. Screening for weapons would make psychiatric services sections safer for both patients and staff.To preserve the balance between patients' civil rights and public safety, an electronic sensing device might be used to alert security to the presence of a weapon carried by a patient entering an emergency room. Such devices generally are effective at sensing the types of weapons that were found in our study. Electronic screening of all patients would allow unobtrusive discovery of most weapons that patients carry.

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