A small number of mental health patients have died suddenly following violent behaviour and restraint by staff. The safety of certain restraint positions has been questioned. This study evaluates two control and restraint (C & R) positions commonly used by health service staff. A repeated measures design was used to study rate of recovery from exercise in volunteer staff, measured by pulse oximetry, comparing the restraint positions with a seated (control) position. It was found that the recovery time for pulse rate of subjects restrained in a face-down position was significantly longer than for subjects restrained in a face-up position. No significant findings were made in terms of comparison between the control position and the restraint positions, and no significant changes in oxygen saturation were noted during restraint. It is concluded that restraint position may be a factor in death during restraint, but only where other factors contribute to the overall situation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects
- Health Policy