Side rails as physical restraints: the need for appropriate assessment
Intended for healthcare professionals
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Side rails as physical restraints: the need for appropriate assessment

Róisín Gallinagh Lecturer in Nursing Research, United Hospitals, Antrim and University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Northern Ireland
Éamonn Slevin Nurse commissioner, SHSSB, Armagh and Senior Lecturer, Nursing, University of Ulster, Jordanstown
Brendan McCormack Professor of Nursing Research, Royal Hospitals Trust, Belfast and University of Ulster, Jordanstown

Side rails are commonly used in the care of the older person. They can be classified as a physical restraint if they restrict the movement of an individual and also if the individual has an inability to have them removed/lowered at will. Advanced age should not be an indicator for side rail use and an individualised approach in patient assessment is advised.

Nursing Older People. 13, 7, 22-28. doi: 10.7748/nop2001.

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