H.17 Universal lines and tube retainers to avoid restraints in hospitalized patients with dementia
The use of physical and chemical restraints in hospitals and nursing homes has long been considered a dangerous practice with significant health consequences, yet it is still often used and older adults continue to experience injury as a result of this practice. Approximately one third of patients in intensive care units are under physical or chemical restraint. A physical restraint is defined as any device which limits a person’s freedom to move voluntarily when applied to the body and may include hand mitts, soft hand ties, restraining vests, body belts. These restraints are commonly used to prevent removal of intravenous catheters and tubes by patients. Patients who become confused/agitated in the hospital, especially elderly patients with dementia, are at high risk of being put on restraints to prevent them from removing different medical devices. In the inpatient setting, nasogastric tubes for example or IV lines are secured/retained with only tape, making their removal easy.
Currently, different tools/gadgets have been developed to retain tubes or IV lines and make it more difficult for the patient to remove them. Available tools are specific to a certain tube or line.
The goal of this project is to develop a universal retainer tool that could be applied to any tube (Foley catheter, nasogastric tube, endotracheal tube) or IV line to prevent a patient from easily removing them. This could significantly decrease the need for restraints, which only makes the patient more agitated and confused, and often leads to mental and physical injuries.
- Biology/Pre-Health Experience