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Increase in ‘Excited Delirium’ Deaths?

Three men in Miami-Dade who had no apparent connection all received the same cause of death recently from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office: “excited delirium,” a rare brain malfunction that raises the body temperature and can trigger violence, according to the Miami Herald (paywall alert).

One of the men died after climbing up to the roof of a nursing home and another, who was in jail, kept banging his head against the wall.   The third was Israel Hernandez, the teenage graffiti artist who died after being tasered by Miami Beach police in August.

Some medical groups recognize the syndrome, while others do not. It was first identified in the 1840s in psychiatric patients and reemerged during the 1980s when cocaine became popular.  However, not all cases of excited delirium involve drugs.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.