Best Practices for Evaluation and Treatment of Agitated Children and Adolescents (BETA) in the Emergency Department

Consensus Statement of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry

Ruth Gerson, MD; Nasuh Malas, MD, MPH; Vera Feuer, MD; Gabrielle H. Silver, MD; Raghuram Prasad, MD; Megan M. Mroczkowski, MD; Pediatric BETA Consensus Guideline Working Group


Western J Emerg Med. 2019;20(2):409-418. 

In This Article


This report describes the results of expert consensus guidelines for psychopharmacologic management of agitation among pediatric patients in the ED. These guidelines are based on a systematic review of the literature, a review of existing guidelines and hospital protocols, and utilization of an accepted and evidence-based, consensus generation process designed to reduce bias. However, these guidelines are still predominantly based on expert opinion. They have not been tested for efficacy either in isolation or in comparison to existing guidelines or hospital protocols.