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Protective Devices
What Is a Protective Device?
Protective devices control the movement of the whole or a portion of a patientís body to protect the patient from hurting him/herself or others.

Sometimes a patient becomes upset or is not able to understand what is happening. At this time, a protective device may be needed. Protective devices are not imposed for the purposes of discipline or convenience.
UPMC Altoona uses protective devices only after all other ways of controlling behavior have been tried. When a patient is restrained, we work to protect his/her health, safety, dignity, rights and well-being.

When a patient is admitted to the hospital, the nursing staff will ask several questions. Your answers will help us care for your family member.

Please answer the questions as well as you can. Some of the information needed might be:
  • An up-to-date list of all medicine your family member is taking. If a patient does not take his/her prescribed medications, behavior can change.
  • Whether strange places confuse your family member.
  • Is your family member confused at night? How can you help? If you notice a change in your family memberís behavior, please tell the nursing staff as soon as you can.
We will do everything possible to keep your family member comfortable and calm. Sometimes a protective device must be used. Please let the nurse know when you plan to visit. During your visits, we may be able to release the protective device, as your familiar face may help calm your family member. Photos, books or a favorite object from home may help your family member remain calm in the hospital setting.
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