The Use of Physical Restraint Essay

1782 Words8 Pages
The use of physical restraint is quite common among caregivers in health facilities when dealing with geriatric patients. Yet this topic is one of the most debated issues in healthcare and medicine. The purpose of medical restraints is to prevent patients from harming themselves or those around them. It seems to be a simple solution and panacea for unruly patients who needs to be treated. However, ethical implications surround its usage as the practice of physically restricting people strips them of their autonomy as well as other psychological factors, such as agitation and trauma. Therein lies the dilemma on how to approach such an issue. Proponents of physical restraint believe that the use of it can assist healthcare providers in…show more content…
This may also include environmental restraints, in which the patient is locked in their room or seclusion from others. These are usually used to prevent patients from injuries sustained from falls or other accidents. Also, it is used to administer treatment when a patient is not compliant with medical practitioners. While the use of physical restraint on elderly patients is necessary in specific situations, the practice should be very limited at all times. Although it will continue to be used worldwide, measures must be taken by all healthcare providers to gradually minimize the use of restraints in healthcare facilities, reduce the risks that are associated with the practice, offer reasonable alternatives for patient care, and ensure the safety of the patients as well as their caregivers. While the prevalence of physical restraints in long term care facilities was around 37 percent 20 years ago, recent CMS rules has kept the numbers down to 5 percent in the US (Agens 2010). However, that is not the case in other countries with well-established healthcare systems. The prevalence of physical restraint use in these countries are as follows: 20 percent in Hong Kong, 28 percent in Finland, and over 31 percent in Canada (Feng 2009). Also, in Dutch nursing homes and hospitals, the prevalence
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