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Black people are more likely to be physically restrained in emergency rooms, study finds

In the chaotic environment of an emergency room, hospital staffers sometimes face the question of whether to use physical restraints when a patient is experiencing a behavioral crisis. Using restraints is meant to be a last resort in the face of a patient’s agitation in order to keep health care workers and others around them safe. But restraints can also lead to severe adverse outcomes for patients, including physical and psychological trauma.

A new study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, highlights how restraint use can both arise from, and further contribute to, racial bias against patients.

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