Physical Restraint Reduction

For years, physical restraints have been viewed as an appropriate intervention to prevent falls, to manage wandering and/or behavioral disturbances, or to minimize tampering with medical devices (intravenous lines, feeding tubes, indwelling bladder catheters, etc.).

However, recent research has demonstrated that restraints do not prevent falls. In fact, people who are restrained still fall, and are more likely to be seriously injured if the fall occurs while restrained. And other methods for managing wandering, behavioral issues and interference with medical devices have been found to be more effective. Physical restraints should only be used in rare circumstances, and only as a short-term measure. Using a restraint should be the last resort, even when a justifiable medical indication is present. Close attention to the person's comfort, safety and needs for hydration, elimination, exercise and social interaction is essential while the restraint is in use.

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