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Rethinking hospital restraints

The Atlantic, August 19, 2014
Most of us who have been hospitalized have never seen physical restraints, as they are rarely used outside the ICU. Examples include wrist and ankle belts, vests, mitts, and full-length side rails attached to the bed. According to Medicare guidelines, restraints should only be used to ensure the safety of patients and staff and should be removed as early as possible. There are only a handful of situations where Medicare and other physician groups recommend using restraints, including patient violence towards himself or others and a threat of a patient disrupting his or her life-saving therapy, such as a breathing tube.