Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Garth Daniels - " CODE BLACK "

What is CODE BLACK?   In its plain overt sense it is a silent code signifying serious personal threat ( Police Assistance Required) written up as policy in the event of serious incidents of aggression and violence.  BUT, is this really necessary in a hospital psychiatric ward?  The following is an extract from just such a policy;
  • " Serious incidents of aggression and violence beyond the control of the Code Grey team.( i.e. hospital patient security staff)
  • Armed (with a weapon or using an object as a weapon) or unarmed person threatening serious injury to self or others.
  • Person armed with a prohibited weapon/s, controlled weapons or dangerous articles who will not voluntary surrender their weapons...
  • Hostage Situation
  • Hostile Intruders
  • Illegal occupancy."
Serious incidents of aggression and violence... a patient suffering mind altering drug(MAD) prescriptions, the effects of which give rise to aggression and violence so often denied. But, that is not at question here what is important is which branch of the police force responds.

Being privy to three "Code Blacks"... this is what was witnessed.  Rapid Response Team at one, Dog Squad at another along with your highway patrolman, police on the local beat and leading constables and Sergeant...  How would you respond to such a call " CODE BLACK?"

Whose MAD here the policy makers or the MAD patient?  Equating a psychiatric patient as a possible "Hostage situation? Hostile Intruder? Armed with a weapon?Serious incidents of aggression?"  Do we really need a CODE BLACK for a Psychiatric Ward?   What if the code black was initiated for you; you who entered hospital to seek assistance with your delirium or psychosis?

Whats happened to humanity or is this just another facet of mans inhumanity to man for the sake of humanity? Australia is signatory to the Helsinki Declaration.. the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and then there is the Hippocratic...  FIRST DO NO HARM.


Healthglo said...

Hi, I just wanted to share my family experience with schizophrenia and treatment. My brother has it and was diagnoses in 1987. he has been on the full range of antipsychotics and the full range of side effects - all those your son has experienced. One of my first memories of his illness is seeing his entire body shaking in the bed from the drugs and need benzotropine to control the symptoms.
he was in and out and hospital for years, treated with the same depot your son reactes to. He was never well but better then off medication. fInally after a very violent outburst, bashing my mum he was put on clozapine,
cLozpine is not perfect but for my brother and our family it as life altering. he was not hallucinating or paranoid or violent anymore. he was able to build a social life and fit back into society. aT the time he lived in an assisted living environment which was fabulous with food provided and medication gi von and more importantly fun and direction. he had a "job" at the Salvation Army and lots of stimulating interactions with outing and crash and art classes. he lived there for 15 great years. i won't pretend he was 100% well but in that time he was not hospitalised.
They closed it down and sent him to live in housing commission and things went down hill after that. He stopping taking his oral medication or took it all at once, he ended up in a coma from NMS due to over dose. aFter that it was back on the depot which is not ideal as it causes the restlessness that makes like so hard. He got more unwell and ended up committing violent offences after 20 years of no such behaviour.
The Dr's wouldn't listen, the case workers wouldn't listen and things kept getting worse. he stopped washing, smoked all day, did not eat well, alienated people. After smashing the neighbours window they finally organised supported care again. he is back on clozapine, he is well encounter to come visit and stay and I am not frightened of him any more. More importantly he is happy.
yEs he has gained weight and I reckon will get diabetes with time but what price is that for actually being able to participate in society and feel connected to a community again.
i hope you find a good psychiatrist who will listen to you but also help your and your son get back on track, Clozapine is not the enemy I highly reccomend you let him try it.

FREE GARTH said...


A study purporting to analyze mortality rates of 66, 881 schizophrenia patients in Finland (1973 to 2005) was published in the prestigious journal, The Lancet. [Abstract below]

The study has received much media attention because the authors claim—contrary to well documented previous reports about spiraling mortality rates among schizophrenia patients treated between the 1970s and 2000 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]—that the use of the second generation anti-psychotic drugs in Finland was associated with lower mortality rate compared to no drug treatment.
What’s more, the authors claim that Clozaril (clozapine) among all anti psychotics was associated with the lowest number of deaths, and its restricted use should therefore be reassessed for use a first-line treatment. Unless the overall treatment and services provided to schizophrenia patients in Finland is unique and especially protective—which the authors do not suggest—their claimed findings are belied by a consistent body of evidence.
To whit, an eight year study of FDA Med-watch adverse drug reports (between 1998 to 2005) found that Clozapine was linked to 3,277 deaths, making it the third most dangerous prescribed drug in the U.S. Clozapine was also linked to over 4,300 adverse drug events that led to disability or required serious medical intervention. [7]
A critical analysis by psychiatrist, Grace Jackson, MD (below), identifies fatal flaws in the study design and numerous methodological artifacts that introduced bias which minimized the detection of drug-related mortality.
1. To begin with, the claim that “no drug use” resulted in the HIGHEST mortality was misleading inasmuch as the non-drug users were, in fact, NO “anti psychotic naive” patients. The patients assigned to the “No Drug Use” group were simply those individuals who did not use anti-psychotics as outpatients between 1996 and 2006.
Free Garth.