Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters When is restraint appropriate?

An American view

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 07 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4702
  1. Peter J Fagenholz, surgeon1
  1. 1Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
  1. pfagenholz{at}

    As an American surgeon recently returned from Scotland, the one revelation about care in the UK that most reliably invokes incredulity in the United States is that restraints are not used in routine clinical care. When I told colleagues in the UK that restraints were regularly used in US intensive care units (ICUs), they were initially surprised but then seemed to …

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