Restraint Techniques could be Fatal
Friday, 29th July 2011
A recent study into ‘Holding and Restraining Techniques’ suggested that bending a person forward so that their face was very close to their lap whilst seated could lead to death. The research showed that this particular hold cut long capacity by up to 50% of the individual and as a result could dangerously suppress their breathing.
In the study 40 volunteers were placed in chairs and lent forward as described above, at the same time two other researchers were kneeling either side of the seated person and using arm holds restricted the ability for the seated person to move backwards and return to a normal sitting position.
All the volunteers said they felt they could not breathe and many felt very alarmed. Overall, the research found that the volunteers with larger waists (though not necessarily overweight) found it hardest to breath.
Dr John Parkes, the lead author, said that the danger lay in staff misinterpreting the response from a detainee who is struggling to get air into their lungs and apply more force to manage what they are understanding as resistance.
The researchers are concerned that this particular restraining technique could be used in some mental health facilities as well as care homes for the elderly or the learning disabled.