Restraint and freedom-restricting measures

Physical restraint is any action or use of material that restricts the freedom of movement of a patient. Only if safety is compromised and treatment cannot be guaranteed in any other way is it an acceptable and 'the least bad' solution.

Last resort

Using restraints is a matter of last resort. Only when the safety of the patient or of others is jeopardised and treatment cannot be guaranteed in any other way, physical restraint is an accepable and the 'least bad' solution. 

Preventing physical restraints

Through preventive measures our care providers try to prevent or postpone physical restraint.

Family members will be clearly informed. Together we discuss the potential risks.
Bring familiar things from home can have a reassuring effect for the patient.
By spreading visitors, it is possible to have a familiar person there to supervise. 

When do we use physical restraints? 

In cases when the patient's safety and his treatment are getting in danger, it is sometimes impossible not to resort to physical restraint. 

It involves the following risks: 

  • Damage to the physical or psychological integrity of the patient and that of others.
  • Interruption of a vital therapy.

Points of attention in case of physical restraint

In case we do have to use physical restraints, there are strict guidelines.

  • Increased attention for the basic needs of the patient.
  • Provide support and guidance for the patient.
  • Ask the family about providing reassuring presence.
  • Keep the time of restraint as short as possible. 
  • Re-evaluate the measure.
  • Registration in the patient record.
Last edit: 24 January 2020