h. A depressed patient, or one having an altered level of consciousness, should
not be restrained on his back with his limbs at his side. These patients should be placed
in a prone position (face down) prior to applying restraints. Placing a patient in a prone
position prevents aspiration if he should vomit.
Aspiration and suffocation are potential dangers because the patient may have
difficulty handling his secretions or emesis.
i. The patient should be checked frequently for signs of distress and security of
restraints at least once every half hour or as directed by a physician. This check will also
reassure the patient of your concern for him and that he is not being punished.
j. The restraints should be released one at a time and the patient's position
should be changed at least once every two hours, day and night. Each of the patients
limb should be exerci
sed through its normal range of motion.
Release avoids excessive stiffening of muscles.
k. Keys to unlock the restraints must be readily available whenever a patient is
placed in a locked restraint; all personnel must carry a key.
l. Restrained patients should be in a comfortable position. The head of the bed
or litter may be elevated so that the patient can see his environment. This will assist in
the patient's reorientation and decrease his confusion. The patient must know that you
are concerned about his physical and emotional well-being and that the restraints are
used for his protection.
HAZARDS OF RESTRAINTS
The following hazards are possible and could cause serious harm to the patient:
a. Tissue damage under the restraint.
b. Damage to other parts of the body.
c. Development of pressure areas.
d. Nerve damage.
e. Injury or death to the helpless, restrained patient due to fire or other
f. Inability to effectively resuscitate a patient who had cardiac arrest.