Restraint Policy

Did you know the use of side rails in the home could be considered a restraint? by Jennifer Windram, BSN

According to Chapter 6 CCR 1011-1 Chapter II – General Licensure Standards:

6.102 Definitions (10) "Restraint" means a physical, mechanical or chemical restraint that immobilizes or reduces the ability of the patient to move his or her arms, legs, head or body freely. Methods typically used for medical-surgical care shall not be considered restraints, such as: the use of bandages and orthopedically prescribed devices, the use of a required device to limit mobility during a medical procedure, or the use of a drug when it is part of a standard treatment or dosage for the patient’s condition. For the purposes of this definition, physical restraints used for fall prevention (including but not limited to raised bed rails) shall not be considered methods typically used for medical surgical care.

Therefore, if side rails are being used to keep a consumer in bed, they are considered a restraint.

When side rails are in place, it is necessary for the agency to have evaluated why the rails are being used, ensure safer alternatives have been pursued and initiate appropriate consumer/family education.

This should occur even in cases where the consumer/family requests the use of the rails.

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