Use Of Restraints And Its Ethical Implications

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The use of restraints, and its ethical implications, has been an ongoing controversy for several years; during the research process this author found articles that dated back as far as 1963. It is necessary to ensure patient safety and positive outcomes of treatments, but not at the detriment of the patient. Several studies have documented increasing poor patient outcomes directly related to the use of restraints; some examples include, difficulties with balance and gait, skin breakdown, further decline in cognitive functioning, and a high rate of urinary tract infections. (Evans 42) Furthermore, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’, “an average of 5% of residents in U.S. nursing homes are restrained on a daily basis.” (Evans 42) The need for a systematic and effective assessment tool, to determine the risk versus benefit aspect of the use of restraints within the dementia population, is present in today’s medical facilities. As well as reeducation for nursing staff on assessing and determining the presence of acute delirium rather than that of chronic dementia. Nurses hastily request the use of restraints without first implementing alternative methods and are often “misdiagnosing” unwanted behavior instead of looking for underlying issues or concerns. The American Journal of Nursing embarked on a series that addressed growing concerns related to the elderly population in the United States. The author of this paper focused on the article related to
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