New guidance on medical emergencies in eating disorders 

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) has launched new guidance for all frontline staff on how to respond to Medical Emergencies in Eating Disorders (MEED). 
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This replaces the Management of Really Sick Patients with Anorexia Nervosa (MARSIPAN) and Junior MARSIPAN guidance and will enable paediatricians and child health professionals to identify children and young people with eating disorders needing urgent care earlier. 

The new guidance provides a risk assessment framework tool which assesses risk to life using a “traffic light” system assessing 11 risk areas and includes adjustment for age and gender when applied to children and young people. There is also an accompanying set of summary sheets of tailored advice for the different target readers of the documents, including different medical professionals, as well as people with eating disorders and their families or carers.  

RCPsych has noted the new guidance is based on the advice and recommendations of an Expert Working Group and provides a comprehensive overview of the latest evidence associated with eating disorders, including highlighting the importance and role of healthcare professionals from right across the spectrum. 

Analysis from the Royal College of Psychiatrists showed a rise of 90% (from 3,524 to 6,713) in hospital admissions in England for children and young people with eating disorders in the last five years. 

RCPCH would now encourage paediatricians to familiarise themselves with the guidance endorsed by the Academy to ensure children and young people can obtain the urgent care they need earlier.