Mental Health

Agitation Episode 4: Safe prehospital transport

There are protocols in place that assist highly trained Emergency Medical Service providers in assuring that agitated children are safely transported to their destination. This podcast episode hosted by Brad Sobolewski (@PEMTweets) and co-authored by Dennis Ren (@DennisRenMD) is all about what pre-hospital providers should do to get these agitated children safely to the ED. It is also episode 4 in a 5 episode series focused on agitation in children and adolescents.

After listening to this episode you will be able to:

  • Identify unique aspects of the pre-hospital environment that impact assessment and treatment of agitated children
  • Describe the role of EMS personnel and EMS director in the care of agitated children.
  • Describe the role of medical control in determining destination and goals of safe transport

This episode is a co-production of the Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center whose mission is to minimize morbidity and mortality of acutely ill and injured children across the emergency continuum.

EMDocs Collaboration – the excellent Emergency Medicine site will also be contributing a supplementary article for each episode that will be posted each Friday following the release of the podcast episode. These articles will take another look at the content included in this episode.

Special thanks to Manpreet Singh, MD (@MprizzleER) for helping to put this collaboration together. 

Other Episodes in the Agitation Series

Episode 1: Differentiating organic versus psychiatric causes of agitation and altered mental status | Supplementary EMDocs article

Episode 2: Non-pharmacologic management of agitated children | Supplementary EMDocs article

Episode 3: Pharmacologic management of agitated children | Supplementary EMDocs article

Episode 5: Management of the child with mental health problems who is boarded in the Emergency Department (Coming June 14, 2023)


To learn more about the Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center visit


Follow on Twitter @EMSCImprovement

EMSC IIC: Pediatric Education and Advocacy Kit (PEAK): Agitation

PEAK Agitation resources

Brad’s stuff


@PEMTweets on Twitter

My Mastodon account @bradsobo

My Educator Portfolio


Kupas D et al. NASEMSO: Clinical care and restraint of agitated or combative patients by emergency medical service practitioners.

Patient restraint in emergency medical services [Position Statement]. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2017;21(3):395-396.


The Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award (U07MC37471) totaling $3M with 0 percent financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

By bradsobo

Brad Sobolewski, MD, MEd is a Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and an Associate Director for the Pediatric Residency Training Program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. He is on Twitter @PEMTweets and authors the Pediatric Emergency Medicine site PEMBlog and produces and hosts the PEM Currents: The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Podcast.

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