The admitting team should make some judgment about the level of the patient's suicidal intent. Any subsequent suicidal ideas or action should be noted in medical or nursing progress notes. This information may influence the type of care they receive in the hospital and also may provide valuable information to people on other shifts who may be required to urgently transfer the patient to a psychiatric unit.
Suicidal intent cannot usually be measured by the potential clinical severity of the poisoning.
A patient who admits themselves into a hotel and takes sixteen temazepam tablets believing they would die and is subsequently found by the cleaner has a greater degree of suicidal intent than someone who takes sixteen chloroquine tablets and then immediately tells someone what they have done in order to go to hospital.
Suicidal attempts that involve extensive planning, such as connecting the exhaust of the car to the inside of the car, are rarely spontaneous and suggest a high suicidal intent.
Also, attempts that involve the ingestion of things that most people would clearly recognize as being extremely poisonous (e.g. pesticides, herbicides, acid, etc.) or ingestion of drugs known by that patient to have resulted in a fatal poisoning of a friend/relative indicate a high level of suicidal intent.