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Friday, October 15, 2010

Train police to recognize cocaine-induced delirium, inquest hears

As our friend over at Excited-Delirium said just yesterday: "Justice Braidwood (see Braidwood Inquiry) described 'excited delirium' as "unhelpful". It's looking more and more that the entire concept may be far worse than just a neutral "unhelpful". It's used to justify a response, but ignore the medical risks of whatever is ACTUALLY going on."

Even the RCMP has removed itself from the term "excited delirium."

It's time for ONTARIO to wake the hell up and extricate itself from the church of taser!!

October 15, 2010
Barb Brown, Hamilton Spectator

Ontario Provincial Police should equip every detachment with automatic defibrillators and ensure that all officers are trained to use them and to recognize a potentially fatal medical condition known as excited delirium.

These are among five recommendations jointly agreed to by coroner's counsel and lawyers with standing at the inquest into the sudden death of a 36-year-old Delhi man who was in the custody at the OPP's Norfolk detachment on June 23, 2008.

Jeffrey Marreel was arrested that morning for creating a public disturbance in the hamlet of Fisher's Glen, about 10 kilometres southwest of Port Dover. An autopsy concluded he died of a fatal cardiac arrest brought on by acute cocaine toxicity.

Dr. Margaret Thompson, an emergency room physician with expertise in cocaine poisoning and the rare, but related medical emergency known as "excited delirium," testified there was enough cocaine in Marreel's system to kill him. She said his aggressive behaviour, including attacking trees and traffic signs, hitting himself with a piece of metal, ranting and shouting incoherently, were indications that he was experiencing excited delirium, which was likely a contributing factor to his death.

The inquest heard Marreel exhibited "superhuman strength" and appeared impervious to pain as up to six police officer struggled to control and restrain him. A senior officer zapped Marreel with a Taser on stun mode several times, however, a report of a cardiologist who has researched Taser effects said the electroshock weapon did not appear to be a factor in Marreel's death.

Coroner's counsel Karen Shea argued that Marreel's death should be classified as an accident, as opposed to have occurred by natural causes, suicide, homicide and undetermined causes. Shea made five recommendations to the jurors at the inquest that were adopted by lawyers for the OPP and the provincial police officer's professional association. The lawyers recommend that:

--The OPP should equip all detachments with automatic emergency defibrillators and ensure officers are properly trained to use the machine.

--Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and base hospitals responsible for the training paramedics ensure that all medical emergency personnel are trained to recognize excited delirium as a medical emergency that can potentially be fatal.

--The OPP and Ontario Police College enhance training to ensure that all new recruits of police services in the province are trained to recognize indicators and the potentially lethal effects of excited delirium.

-- The OPP provide updated training annually for its front-line officers on the recognition of excited delirium.

--Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services issue directives to all police services in the province to ensure that all police officers receive annual training on the signs and risks associated with excited delirium.

Coroner Jack Stanborough told the jury it must reach a majority decision on each of five questions, including, who was killed, where, when, how and by what means? The jury retired to deliberate at 11:30 a.m.

1 comment:

Excited-Delirium.com said...

Self-proclaimed 'excited delirium' expert was reported as testifying that she sees cocaine toxicity on "a daily basis", but 'excited delirium' only "once in 24 years".

I'd call that an own-goal.

So... even if 'excited delirium' exists, it's so rare that the average officer will never see it. I've provided the logical lesson plan on my blog. Everything the police need to know about 'excited delirium'.