Injuries from Restraints

Nursing Home Neglect LawyerNursing home staff often employ misguided attempts to control elderly residents that result in a nursing home restraint injury.  Restraints can be either physical or chemical, and their purpose is to limit and control the movement of a resident. If your loved one has suffered a nursing home restraint injury, contact the nursing home neglect lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC.

Types of restraints

There are two types of restraints, physical and chemical. A physical restraint is a mechanical or physical device attached to or adjacent to the resident’s body that restricts the resident’s freedom of movement or access to his or he own body that cannot be easily removed by the resident. A chemical restraint is the administration of medications to control the behavior of residents that is not used for therapeutic purposes. Both restraints can be used inappropriately and cause a restraint injury. A nursing home neglect lawyer can help families whose loved one suffered an injury due to a nursing home restraint injury.

Physical Restraints

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services State Operations Manual, research and standards of practice demonstrate that physical restraints have multiple negative impacts and risks that outweigh any benefits from their use. Physical restraints have been shown to increase the risk of physical decline and dependence, skin breakdown, incontinence, accidents, and injury.

However, many facilities still employ these devices to control a resident for staff convenience or discipline, which is strictly prohibited by regulation. Restraints are frequently used when staffing levels are too low to meet the needs of the residents, and the staff is “too busy” to monitor and provide care for all the residents in their assignment.

Types of Physical Restraints:

  • Bed rails not used for mobility purposes
  • Lap Belts
  • Vests
  • Hand mittens
  • Lap trays
  • Specialized chairs intended to prevent the resident from rising

Physical Restraint Injuries

  • Resident becomes entangled in the restraint and strangled
  • Restraint is not removed regularly for turning and repositioning, and resident develops a pressure ulcer.
  • Resident is bruised or receives a laceration from the restraint
  • Resident’s fall is worsened by injury from the restraint (for example, a resident using a lapb elt falls out of the wheelchair, and the entire wheelchair lands on top of him, causing greater injury)
  • Loss of dignity, fear, or agitation


Chemical Restraints

Nursing homes routinely dose residents with dementia with antipsychotic medication to control their behavior. Antipsychotics contain a “black box” warning about the significant risks that the medications pose to residents with dementia, and the FDA has never approved antipsychotic medication as safe and effective for treatment of the symptoms of dementia. This practice is abusive, but it still permeates the nursing home industry.

Federal regulations prohibit the use of chemical restraints for staff convenience or discipline. However, many understaffed nursing homes pass off use of these medications as medically necessary when they in situations when they are truly not allowable. A nursing home neglect lawyer can review your loved one’s situation and help determine if the nursing home incorrectly chemically restrained your loved one without medical reason.

Types of Chemical Restraints:

  • Antipsychotics
  • Anxiolytics
  • Sedative-hypnotics
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antidepressants

Chemical Restraint Injuries:

  • Increased risk of falls
  • Loss of strength and mobility
  • Functional decline and loss of independence
  • Loss of strength and mobility
  • Depression and withdrawal


When to call a nursing home neglect lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC

If your loved one suffered a nursing home restraint injury, it’s important to seek help from a professional. A nursing home neglect lawyer can review you case and discuss the legal options at your disposal. If there is the potential for a claim, our attorneys can help obtain the medical records and have them reviewed by a medical expert. Contact us today for a free case evaluation; we never take a fee unless we earn money for you.

Call us today at 215-666-7777 or send us a message via the online form to speak directly with an attorney.


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