AAEM Position Paper| Volume 63, ISSUE 5, P711-721, November 2022

Do All Adult Psychiatric Patients Need Routine Laboratory Evaluation and an Electrocardiogram?

Published:September 20, 2022DOI:



      Acute psychiatric presentations account for a significant number of emergency department (ED) visits. These patients require assessment by the emergency physician and often need further evaluation by a psychiatrist, who may request routine laboratory evaluation and an electrocardiogram (ECG).

      Clinical Question

      Do all adult psychiatric patients need routine laboratory evaluation and an ECG?

      Evidence Review

      Studies retrieved included 2 prospective, observational studies and 7 retrospective studies. These studies evaluate the utility of laboratory analysis in all patients presenting a psychiatric complaint and its impact on patient management and disposition.


      Based upon the available literature, routine laboratory analysis and ECG for all patients presenting with a psychiatric complaint are not recommended. Clinicians should consider the individual patient, clinical situation, and comorbidities when deciding to obtain further studies such as laboratory analysis. © 2022 Elsevier Inc.


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