Mental Health Monthly #9: Suicide Assessment in the ED: Using the ICAR2E Tool - The Emergency Medical Minute

Mental Health Monthly #9: Suicide Assessment in the ED: Using the ICAR2E Tool

Dr. Kim Nordstrom discusses a valuable bedside tool for evidence-based assessment in patients that visit the ED and are at risk for suicidality. Dr. Nordstrom is a practicing emergency psychiatrist and associate professor with the University of Colorado. As a developer and user of the tool, Dr. Nordstrom gives us invaluable insight into a new avenue for psychiatric care in emergency medicine.


Educational Pearls:


  • An app-based tool made in conjunction with ACEP
  • Identifying suicidal risk for each patient, including assessment of clues like bodily injuries
  • Communicating with patients to create a safe space and enhance rapport
  • Assessing for threats such as environmental or personal objects
  • Risk assessment; previous attempts, mental state, life stressors, etc.
  • Risk reduction once discharge is thought possible
  • Extension of care once patients leave the ED


Link to Access the ICAR2E Tool


Wilson MP, Moutier C, et al. Emergency department recommendations for suicide prevention in adults: The ICAR2E mnemonic and a systematic review of the literature. Am J Emerg Med. 2020; 38:571-581.

Summarized by Jorge Chalit


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