APPLY RESTRAINING DEVICES TO PATIENTS
Restraints are used to immobilize a patient and to prevent him from harming
himself or others. The patient's response to being restrained is rarely submissive. In
many instances, he views the application of restraints as a personal, physical assault. He
is frightened and responds by becoming combative. He is fearful of what is happening
and is trying to protect his freedom. As a medical specialist, you must be aware of the
patient's feeling and apply restraints to the patient in a most effective and expedient
manner according to the needs of each patient.
PRINCIPLES OF APPLICATION OF RESTRAINING DEVICES
The following principles of application are important and must be observed when
applying restraining devices.
a. Do not attempt to apply restraining devices alone. There should be an
adequate number of personnel available to safely and efficiently restrain a patient.
b. The patient's ankles and wrists must be padded prior to applying restraints.
Padding helps prevent chaffing and/or cutting of the skin.
c. Restraints should fit snugly to prevent escape, but should not restrict circulation
or impair breathing. You should insert two fingers under the restraining straps to check
for tightness. If your fingers can be comfortably inserted under the straps, the restraining
straps are thought to be snug and should not restrict circulation.
d. Restraints must be placed so that no further injury will be done to a wound or
interfere with therapeutic treatment such as IV infusions, tubes, or catheters. However,
the restraints must prevent the patient from removing therapeutic devices.
e. When ankle restraints are applied, wrist restraints must also be applied. The
wrist restraints will prevent the patient from using his hands to place himself in a position
to hang from his ankles or to release the ankle restraints.
f. The patient should never be restrained on a portable commode or rocking
chair. Both can be tipped over.
g. Straps should not be attached to the bed's side rails. If the side rails are
lowered, the patient could be injured.