ljequinox (ljequinox) wrote in little_details,

Hospital protocol for child having a panic attack

Setting: essentially modern world with some fantasy thrown in. The fantasy is not super relevant--the world has modern hospitals with real-world medicine.

The character is an eight-year-old boy who comes home to find his father's dead body. He ends up cutting his hands trying in vain to save his father. A family friend finds him with the body the next morning. He is taken to the ER and hospitalized for shock, psych evaluation, etc. and the injuries to his hands. Once his injuries are stitched up, he is transferred to a private room.

There are two situations in which he has a panic attack: the first one when the family friend has to leave him alone in the hospital temporarily, and the second one later that night when he wakes up during a lightning storm (a PTSD trigger--he remained an entire night in his house with his father's body while it was storming outside); the night staff come in to check on him.

In either of these situations, my question is: what would the nurses/hospital staff do to calm him down? Just talk to him, etc., or maybe give him some sort of sedative? My medical knowledge in general is rather limited, so any info/clarification would be very helpful.

I have tried googling things like:

hospital protocol child panic attack
children's ward protocol child panic attack
hospital child panic attack sedate

but most of the results have to do with long-term treatment of Panic Disorder like CBT; not with the immediate protocol for handling a panic attack.

Once again, any info, clarification, corrections, suggested search terms, etc. would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
Tags: ~medicine (misc), ~psychology & psychiatry (misc), ~psychology & psychiatry: ptsd

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