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Medical Issues Relevant to Restraint

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In 2000–2001, there were 1.25 million people arrested for notifiable offenses in the United Kingdom by 130,000 officers, with each detention involving the potential for several restraint techniques, so it is inevitable that forensic physicians will have involvement with restraint issues (1). Although this topic is common, doctors ignore it at their potential peril. Forensic physicians’ involvement with these issues involves many of the core attributes needed in the practice of high-quality forensic medicine, including the need for good history taking from as many involved parties as is practical to clearly establish events, and a precise examination recorded clearly and contemporaneously. Objectivity must be maintained in the light of differing histories, and there is a need to keep abreast of developing restraint techniques that may bring new clinical problems. However, regardless of how careful police officers may be, there is the potential for serious injury requiring further medical intervention, and the real possibility of being a witness in a legal process, such as police disciplinary procedures.


  • Police Officer
  • Radial Nerve
  • Medical Issue
  • Scaphoid Fracture
  • Face Police Officer

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© 2005 Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ

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Page, N. (2005). Medical Issues Relevant to Restraint. In: Stark, M.M. (eds) Clinical Forensic Medicine. Forensic Science and Medicine. Humana Press.

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