Caution urged with facedown restraints

Caution urged with facedown restraints

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DePaul psychiatric aides Leon Harriel and Michael Manetta told investigators that holding Alexis facedown in a beanbag chair was a maneuver they were trained to do.

"I placed my left hip in Alexis' right arm pit and Mr. Leon placed his right hip in her left arm pit," Manetta told investigators. "We grabbed her arms and extended them perpendicular to her body.

"We both then placed our arms over Alexis' perpendicular arm and leaned forward forcing Alexis' upper body into the bean bag chair."

They called it a "CPI hold" — short for Crisis Prevention Institute, of Milwaukee. SSM says workers at its hospitals are trained to use "CPI-approved holding techniques."

A CPI spokesman told reporters what Manetta described was "not something taught in any CPI training program." The group cautions:

• Holding a patient facedown in a bed or mat is "extremely dangerous."

• Staff members should be careful not to apply too much pressure to a facedown patient.

• Facedown patients can suffocate and die.

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