Improper use of restraints leads to patient safety concerns

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

January 21, 2015

In a 2014 article published in The Atlantic, Ravi Parikh, a resident in internal medicine and primary care at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, describes his time as a medical student at a different hospital, where physical restraints were routinely used for elderly patients in the ICU that were delirious.

In the article, Parikh admits that many of the patients he cared for in the ICU did not need restraints. However, physicians often fell back on the use of physical restraints to devote necessary time to other high priority patients in unit.

Still, Parikh said witnessing delirious adults straining against their physical restraints “was one of the most troubling things I witnessed as a medical student.”

The article brings to light some of the controversial issues that hospitals face in trying to manage patients—particularly older patients—that are delirious.

This is an excerpt from an article in Patient Safety Monitor Journal.

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