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Gerontologist. 1992 Dec;32(6):762-6.

Deaths caused by physical restraints.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis 55415.


A retrospective analysis of 122 deaths caused by vest and strap restraints found that most victims were women (78%) and a median age of 81. Victims were found suspended from chairs (42%) or beds (58%); 83% were in nursing homes. Detailed analysis of 19 cases showed that all were demented, 13 had impulsive or involuntary movements, and 14 had recently tried to escape from a restraint or been found in a dangerous position while restrained. Restraints are an underrecognized, underreported, avoidable, and proximate cause of at least 1 of every 1,000 nursing home deaths.

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