Restraints Policy Term Definition

A restraint is any manual method, physical or mechanical device, material, or equipment that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a patient to move his or her arms, legs, body, or head freely. A restraint does not include devices, such as orthopedically prescribed devices, surgical dressings or bandages, protective helmets, or other methods that involve the physical holding of a patient for the purpose of conducting routine physical examinations or tests, or to protect the patient from falling out of bed, or to permit the patient to participate in activities without the risk of physical harm (this does not include a physical escort).

The following are excluded from this definition:

  1. Devices used for security, detention or public safety reasons on patients in forensic custody and those devices are not involved in the provision of health care. ( Refer to Policy 9.9.1.)
  2. A voluntary mechanical support used to achieve proper body position, balance, or alignment so as to allow greater freedom of mobility than would be possible without mechanical support.
  3. A positioning or securing device used to maintain the position, limit mobility or temporarily immobilize during medical, dental, diagnostic, or surgical procedures.
  4. The brief physical holding of a patient without undue force, used as part of a behavioral plan for the purpose of providing emotional comfort and/or calming to the patient or physical safety to the client, other clients, staff member(s) or others.
  5. Use of cribs in age or developmentally appropriate individuals, infant snuggling or bundling for developmental purposes and use of side rails in response to medical interventions or physical condition to provide patient safety while not intending to restrict patient from getting out of bed.