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In what situations is restraint necessary?

  • Comments (4)

Anderson P (2014) Reducing need to restrain vulnerable patients. Nursing Times; 110: 29, 24-25.

A multiprofessional consortium led by the Royal College of Nursing has developed guidance on reducing the need for restrictive interventions in hospitals and residential or care homes.

The guidance, published by the Department of Health this year, states that nurses and other staff must create therapeutic environments that promote wellness, and must use restrictive interventions only when there is a real possibility of harm to the person, staff or the public.

Staff must not restrain people in a way that affects their airway, breathing or circulation, and restrictive intervention must not include the deliberate application of pain. Interventions used must always be the least restrictive option to meet the immediate need.


Let’s discuss…

  • In what situation is restraint necessary?
  • If you have ever restrained patients, could you ever have avoided this by responding differently?


Further reading

Should nurses ever restrain aggressive patients?

Ethical issues in patient restraint


  • Comments (4)

Readers' comments (4)

  • Helena King

    If staff are trained properly and updated regularly with say, the PAMOVA technique then these risks to clients shouldn't exist. In area where here are high reports of restraining, I would be looking at the skill of the staff employed there and their skills in deescalation and identifying rising risky situations.
    Of course I acknowledge that this is also dependant on the type of service - for instance a PICU or medium secure would be ex

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  • Helena King

    Than say a elderly ward, however the staff ratios should be higher and the nurses should have more experience

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  • Restraining restless or aggressive patients sometimes is inevitable (especially if pharmacological restraint i.e sedation is contraindicated), however, the appropriate restraint device or material should be used as much as possible.

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  • Nurses have a duty of care towards patients and in this situation, they have to cater for safety of others. Thus, PMVA techniques are helpful tools to be used for agressive patients and it should always be used as a last resort when other primary techniques fail, i-e, verbal de-escalation.

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