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The characteristics of physically restrained patients in intensive care units

Author(s): İsmet Eşer | Leyla Khorshid | Gülendam Hakverdioğlu

Journal: International Journal of Human Sciences
ISSN 1303-5134

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 190;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Intensive care | physical restraint | nursing care

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the characteristics of physically restrained patients in intensive care units, who made the decision to apply restraints, the times they were used and the characteristics of the patients, in other words, the potential reasons why physical restraints were being used. Methods: The research population for this descriptive study was the 115 patients who were being physically restrained. Data were collected with an observation and interview forms. Form 1 was completed by the researcher by observing the patient and reviewing the patient record. Form 2 was completed by interviewing the nurse caring for the patient being physically restrained. Chi-square test was used in analysis of the data. Findings: There was no difference between the rate of injuring patients with physical restraints and the length of time of physical restraint in different ICUs. The percentage of patients which had three and four extremities restrained was higher in the Gastroenterology ICU than the others. The most common type of restraint was observed to be bilateral wrist restraints. For most of the patients the physical restraints were used for 1-7 days. The majority of the decisions to restrain patients were made by the nurses. In this study health care personnel tried using alternative methods in 74.8% of the patients before using physical restraint.Conclusion: Knowing the injuries that can occur from the use of physical restraints and the characteristics of patients being physically restrained can be a guide in nursing care planning and in management. Physical restraint is an important problem in our hospital intensive care units. Also the absence of a monitored form for recording information about physical restraints may be a cause for legal problems. There is a need for the development of standards and appropriate materials for physical restraining.
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