Prone Position Still Being Used On Mental Health Patients


Today I was reading about a Cumbria mental health trust who is still using prone position restrain on patients.  You can read the article here.

Read below to find out why this put your loved ones at risk and what can be done about it.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”5649″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_border”][vc_column_text]

As an instructor in conflict management, breakaway and physical intervention skills training I know the real dangers of prone position and other safer handling alternatives which can be used.

What is Prone Position?

Prone position is the method of restraining an individual face-down in a crisis situation.  This is extremely dangerous as the subject of the restraint can suffer from positional asphyxiation.  This is where the diaphragm is being crushed so the individual finds it hard to breathe.

The natural response to this when you can’t breathe is to panic!  The staff involved in the restraint will see this response, not as panic, but as resisting the restraint and will then apply even more pressure which can ultimately lead to life-threatening injuries being suffered.

Have you ever thought why the police will rarely handcuff someone in the prone position anymore or if they have to they will get them on their feet or sat up immediately?

The Alternatives

I myself teach Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) Training .  This is split into three distinct units:

  • Unit 1: Conflict Management Training
  • Unit 2: Breakaway Training
  • Unit 3: Physical Intervention Skills Training

By doing this training you can seriously reduce the need for restraint training because if you do conflict management correctly then there is no need for a service user to try and grab you.  If they don’t grab you, then the situation won’t escalate to the point where physical intervention is needed.

Restraint training not only has risks to the individual being restrained but also to the staff carrying out the restraint.

So by know you are probably wondering what the alternative to prone position restraint is.  Well there are lots of procedures which can be put in place instead:

  • Use of Force Options
  • Use of a Bean Bag
  • Secure the Individual in a empty room

The reason why I and other organisations will not teach prone position as a method of restraint is because there are so many safer alternatives.  I always say that if “you can prove to me that there is not a safer alternative then use it.” No-one successfully has.

So whether you decide to book our PBS training or some other course ensure you do your due diligence by checking that the training you are booking is fit for purpose.  After all, if things go pear-shaped then it will be your company that will fall foul of the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974).

If you want more information on the points raised above then why not comment below.  Don’t forget to share this article with your friends as between us, we can help stop the use of prone position restraint and other life-threatening techniques.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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