Individuals can die during restraint, or simply through heart failure due to the nature and duration of the restraint, the excitement, exhaustion and stress induced and other contributory factors.



Such as:

  • The relative size, build, weight, age and physical health of the individual will impact on the potential for complications to occur. Obesity presents increased risk in horizontal restraints. 
  • Individuals with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues are often vulnerable and may be confused and frightened. For those that are acutely unwell in mental health terms and who may be paranoid and hold delusional beliefs, physical restraint may trigger their worst fears.
  • Abuse of alcohol and drugs will influence an individual's behaviour and also add to their vulnerability during and following physical intervention. The individual may also have an artificially raised tolerance to discomfort whilst under the influence of certain substances, allowing him or her to struggle beyond the point of natural exhaustion.
  • The physical health of an individual and their medication can increase risk during a restraint and can be a contributory factor in sudden death.
  • While physical intervention is always potentially hazardous, it should be remembered that the risks can be further increased by the position held, techniques used and duration of restraint.