use of restraints

  1. My mom's brother just had bypass surgery on Monday and has apparently been dealing with ICU psychosis. He is normally somewhat claustrophobic and with everything else going on in ICU, he is having difficulties. The nursing staff had to resort to applying restraints as he was trying to take out his iv and other various tubes. A friend of my uncle's wife is now trying to tell my mom that this is illegal. I don't see how that is possible when they are just trying to prevent him from hurting himself. She asked if I had ever heard of anything like that and I told her that I would look into it. Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated. Thanks.
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    About kats

    Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 340; Likes: 4


  3. by   RNforLongTime
    JCAHO doesn't like restraints to be used but when a pt is pulling out lines that could cause him to bleed to death then I believe restraints are justified. Document, document, document. But NO restraints are NOT illegal. If a pt is a danger to himself or others then restraints are warranted. I also like to have wrist restraints on any pt that is intubated. Sorry but you never know when they are gonna go "loco" on you. Better to be safe than sorry.
  4. by   JohnnyGage
    I agree... you have to balance out the positives and negatives. While restraints aren't the ideal, the risk of having a patient extubate himself or pull out an arterial line -- not to mention the risks of having to put them back in emergently -- is far worse. I have some more information at my website, feel free to look it over and print it off...

    Restraint Information
  5. by   kats
    Thank you very much for your responses. Just to let you know she wasn't trying to get the nurse in trouble. She thinks they have been great. She wanted to be able to prove the wife's friend wrong.
  6. by   Zinnia
    One question. Was a family member willing to stay at the bedside 24/7 in lieu of the restraints?
  7. by   kats
    My mom was the only one willing to stay any length of time and she couldn't do it 24/7. She is 63 years old and has back problems. My uncle's wife and kids were too worried about shopping and finishing vacations. He is doing much better now though. He is home from the hospital and is much more clear-headed. He is still weak but is recovering.
  8. by   jadednurse
    And I don't think the responsibility should rest w/ the family 24/7. They have enough to deal with, and often have their hands full when the patients get d/c'd too. Not to mention the liability issues for the hospital as's almost like we're asking the families to do what the hospitals should be doing in the first place...keep their loved ones safe!
  9. by   renerian
    I agree with all the posts except the last one.

  10. by   jadednurse
    Originally posted by renerian
    I agree with all the posts except the last one.

    I'm curious to hear your thoughts...I'm not saying the family should not participate and take responsibility, just that they shouldn't have to assume 24/7 responsibility for sitting w/ the patient. Those who require prolonged periods of supervision realistically would be restrained at times, attended by family when they are able, and supervised by hospital staff when the family is unavailable and/or restraints are aggravating their agitation.

    Of course w/ my experience being limited to the acute care setting, I can only express my opinion for that situation.
  11. by   bobbie411
    Although I work as a psych nurse I know the hospital I work in has a policy for medical use of restraints.Also,having the family as a "partner in care" is becoming much more accepted and I think it's a good thing especially for the patient.
  12. by   healingtouchRN
    in my unit, we have standing protocol, that says if they try to pull lines/tubes out, then soft restaints are ok. we have q 24 hour orders & flow sheets to follow. some times you gotta use them.
  13. by   renerian
    When my grandmother and father were pulling all their tubes out our family took turns watching him to support the staff. I know it is impossible for a nurse to be everywhere watching all the clients who are pulling out tubes. It did not bother us at all. They said they appreciated it as well.

  14. by   gwenith
    The leagility actually depends on where you are - it is commonly accepted here in QLD that restraints can be considered illegal as it can be considered "false imprisonment". The bottom line is again correct assessment that the pateint cannot make a rational decision at the time ( the patient could be removing lines becasue they want to leave) and that in removing the lines/tubes tehy are at risk to themselves. I have had patients. for various reasons sign themselves out and they have calmly and persistantly removed all interventions. Stopping someone like this would be false imprisonment.

    There is nothing wrong with having the family help with restraint. Family involvement is a cultural issue as well as being dependant on the family dynamic.