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Doctor Kevin
Doctor Kevin, Ph.D.
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  25 years in private practice
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Why is blood drawn when you enter the hospital with psychosis?

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Why is blood drawn when you enter the hospital with psychosis? What are the standard tests ordered?

Dr.Kappler :

thank you for choosing just answer. There are several reasons why it is important to have blood tests done on someone who's exhibiting psychotic symptoms when they are admitted to psychiatric hospital. The first is that blood tests are routinely done to see if there any discrepancies prior to starting antipsychotic medication. The second reason is that amphetamine psychosis is indistinguishable from a psychotic break what it is first manifest. Upon admission to a psychiatric hospital within the first 24 hours both a physician and a psychiatrist conduct their initial assessments and make recommendations. Blood tests are used by both to determine that persons readiness to receive psychotropic medication.

Dr.Kappler :

I see that you are currently off-line and I am available till midnight tonight Pacific standard Time for your reply. If you find my answer is acceptable please click the green accept the so that I may get paid. You can continue asking questions after that


Please clarify what you mean by discrepencies. What type of discrepencies? No history of drug or alcohol abuse. Just a ordinary homemaker in mid 40's. My son's fraternal grandmother experienced similiar symptoms after surgery, unrelenting vomiting for days, then hallucinations (verbal) off and on. Dispite that info. diagnosed psychosis nos, schizophrenia, schizoaffective depending on doctor. Just wondered what blood tests are run. Thanks

Dr.Kappler :

unfortunately a diagnosis of psychosis not otherwise specified is extremely vague and means that there are symptoms of psychosis but they are is efficient to warrant a specific known diagnosis. The diagnosis of schizophrenia on the other hand has very specific criteria and unless those criteria are met the diagnosis should not be given. This is also true of a schizoaffective disorder which is a newer diagnosis than schizophrenia that was created to address those individuals who do not fit the criteria for schizophrenia but still fall in the category of psychosis. Having three different diagnoses from three different doctors is a little professionally embarrassing it must be confusing on your end. Having worked a treat the team in a psychiatric hospital for over 30 years I have heard endless hours of discussion by various professionals over the details of one diagnosis over another but we always achieved a consensus before we pass that information on to the patient so as not to confuse them and reduce their trust in us. You mentioned that the symptoms occurred after surgery and the first thing I would look into would be the possibility of the anastesia creating a temporary psychological imbalance. I have seen many such cases in which auditory hallucinations are really misdiagnosed. If the patient says they hear voices but they know that they're not there that is not classified as an auditory hallucination and it would be improper to use that as a basis for a psychotic diagnosis.

Dr.Kappler :

As to your second question of what blood tests would be run they would be a standard battery to see if there is any discrepancy in the blood. It is been my experience in psychiatric emergency that a drug test would be run as well to rule out amphetamine psychosis even if there was no history of drug abuse.

Dr.Kappler :

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