J Korean Acad Fundam Nurs.  2010 May;17(2):177-186.

A Study on the Application of Physical Restraints in Intensive Care Units

  • 1Neurosurgical ICU, Dongsan Hospital of Keimyung University, Korea. mission20000@hanmail.net
  • 2College of Nursing, Keimyung University, Korea.


The purpose
of this descriptive study was to investigate the application of physical restraints in ICUs of a university hospital. METHOD: Data were collected from August 1 to October 1 2009, using a recording tool from Electric Nursing Records and an observation tool for physical restraints and related factors. Frequency, percentage, and paired t-test with the SPSS/WIN 16.0 program were used to analyze the data.
The application rate for physical restraints in 5 ICUs was 34.3&, the highest application rate was 48.4& in the neurosurgical ICU. The mean frequency for physical restraint application per patient was 1.14, and the mean hours of restraint application per incident was 113.01 hours. The most common complications of physical restraints were bruising and edema.
Many ICU nurses use physical restraints when caring for patients who are at high risk for falls, including patients have high levels of acuity, decreased level of consciousness or increased irritability. When physical restraints are applied, patients show resistance against the use resulting in side effects of bruising and edema. Therefore, nurses should observe changes in restrain sites, perform nursing interventions to prevent complications, and minimize the use of physical restraints.


Physical restraint; Intensive care units
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