The Use Of Restraints With Elderly Patients In The Nursing Home

2236 words - 9 pages

For many years an ongoing debate has grown over the proper way to restrain elderly patients in medical institutions all over the world. Over the years, the use of restraints has increased, because ensuring patient safety has become a great concern. Many believe that the most common reason for using restraints is to prevent injuries to these persons who are at risk of accidental falls due to physical or mental illness. The use of restraints has grown because of the concern for the safety of the residents living there. Sometimes there is no choice and restraining is for safety, even though family members do not understand this. But many people are in opposition to the use of physical restraints in nursing homes. There are many reports of terrible injuries and even death from improper use of restraints. Some people claim that the use of restraints violates the resident's basic human rights and that it is a procedure performed against their will. However, my claim is that the use of physical restraints in the old age home should be implemented for safety reasons because many elderly patients suffer from diseases that cause decline in cognitive function, such asAlzheimer's Disease. The claim of this paper is that it is our obligation to protect these patients from hurting themselves, wandering off or falling. Due to the reports of injuries and deaths resulting from misuse of the devices, a call for strict guidelines in their usage has to be made.It is my intention in this paper to demonstrate that in some instances physical restraining is necessary in the nursing home setting to ensure adequate safety measures. Secondly, I will discuss the legal and ethical aspect of using restraints. Finally, since restraints have the potential for causing serious injury, there are safety guidelines in place for their use, and I will outline this protocol.Physical restraints are items used to restrict, restrain or prevent movement of a person. It is the forcible confinement of a confused, disorientated, psychotic or irrational person (Miller & Keane, p.978). Restraints of any kind are only used when the patient's behavior presents a danger to himself or to another person (Bower, McCullough & Timmons, 2000). Physical restraints are never used for the convenience of the staff or as a substitute for conscientious nursing care. Restraints include mitts to prevent removal of drainage tubes, or leg and arm restraints to limit mobility and prevent the patient from climbing out of bed or harming someone at the bedside. Waist and body restraints, such as a straitjacket, also prevent the patient from hurting himself (Bower, McCollough & Timmons, 2000). Some examples of physical restraints used in nursing homes are lap buddies, belts, "geri" chairs, vests or trays which keep the resident immobilized in his wheelchair. Bed rails are also considered a form of restraint, as they restrict the free movement of the resident to climb out of bed. There exists another kind...

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