Kingsway Logo

What does ‘ligature-resistant’ mean in behavioral healthcare?

Best practices within design for behavioral health facilities have greatly improved in recent years through collaborative efforts to create safer environments. ‘Ligature-resistant’ design is one of the factors that has played a key role in this.

The term ‘ligature-resistant’ is defined as something designed to prevent the ability of securing a ligature to it. As such, ligature-resistant design plays a crucial role in protecting those who are most vulnerable by reducing the risk of self-harm or suicide by hanging or strangulation.

Ligature Resistant Products for Behavioral Health by Kingsway Group USA

What is a 'ligature'?

A ‘ligature’ is any item that can be used to tie or bind something tightly, such as a rope, cord, or items of clothing or bedding. Such items are commonly used in suicide attempts within mental health settings and other challenging environments by anchoring them to ‘ligature points’ – a point on furniture, architecture, or any other physical object susceptible to ligature attachment.

Ligature-resistant design reduces the presence of these ligature points and therefore plays an essential role in mitigating the risk of a ligature being used to self-harm.

Ligature Resistant Doors for Behavioral Health by Kingsway Group USA.

Why is 'ligature-resistant' design important in behavioral healthcare?

A study carried out in 2018 into the National Violent Death Reporting System and Sentinel Event databases found that hanging was the most common method of inpatient suicide in the United States, accounting for 70.5% of all inpatient suicide events. Of these suicides by hanging,  53.8% used a door as a ligature point. Further, 90% of inpatient suicides took place in private spaces such as the bedroom, bathroom or shower.

These findings support The Joint Commission’s recommendations that inpatient psychiatric units should be ligature-resistant in patient rooms, patient bathrooms, corridors and common patient care areas.

Anti-Suicide Ligature Doors for Behavioral Health by Kingsway Group USA.

What ligature-resistant solutions are available for behavioral health?

Kingsway offer an extensive range of ligature-resistant internal door sets for behavioral and psychiatric healthcare facilities to ensure the ligature risk can be reduced in any given area, including; patient bedrooms, staff areas, communal spaces, washroom facilities and more.

Our Ligature-Resistant Door Systems are designed in collaboration with healthcare professionals and Experts by Experience to help prevent patient self-harm or suicide within challenging environments. Through our expertise gained in delivering ligature-resistant solutions for over 10,000 projects globally, we ensure the best-suited materials are selected to deliver the robustness and reliability demanded by behavioral health environments.

Browse our Ligature-Resistant Products

Ligature-Resistant Products for Behavioral Health

Aesthetically pleasing without sacrificing safety or security, our specialist Ligature-Resistant Doors and products improve patient and staff safety within behavioral health environments while contributing to creating calming, de-institutionalized spaces. And as Your Partner in Patient Safety, all our Ligature-Resistant Door Systems come with a 3-year guarantee at no extra cost.

In addition to ligature-resistant door systems, we offer a number of ligature-resistant solutions to reduce risk within behavioral and psychiatric healthcare settings, including High-Strength Seating Solutions, Washroom Dispensers, Grab Bars & Handrails, Shatter-Resistant Mirrors, Coat & Towel Hooks, Vision Panels and more.

Kingsway Group Door Top Monitor alarm alerts staff to ligature attempts to help improve patient safety within behavioral health and psychiatric units.

What are 'ligature monitors'?

A ligature monitor is a device that can detect ligature attempts and will alert staff to allow swift clinical intervention. Their use can dramatically improve staff responsiveness to life-threatening incidents. Our SWING Door Top Monitor Door System features ligature-resistant design along with ligature monitoring technology. The integrated ligature monitor will alert staff if a patient attempts to anchor or wedge a ligature at the door’s top edge.

To maximize the benefits of ligature monitors and to support staff further, we have also developed our KOSMOS Smart Monitoring System – the next-generation ligature monitoring software. KOSMOS provides live ligature monitoring across wards with early warning indicators to enable proactive clinical intervention. KOSMOS also aids management teams by providing invaluable data for future review. By recording a complete audit trail of patient activity, staff observations and alarm activations, KOSMOS can help management teams review patient care quality and highlight key trends on wards.

Explore our Ligature Monitor Alarm Systems

Learn more about our ligature-resistant solutions

The best ideas start as conversations. To learn more about how our ligature-resistant solutions can help you improve patient safety, reach out to a member of our team today.

Start a conversation