Kiwi restrained for days in Japan dies

A Kiwi man has died after being restrained to a bed in a Japanese psych ward for days, but the hospital is denying any responsibility.

Kelly Savage had been teaching English in Yamato, near Yokohama. The 27-year-old's mental health had been deteriorating after he stopped taking medication because of its side-effects. His older brother Pat - also in Japan - arranged for him to get hospital treatment at the end of April.

But he spent most of the next 10 days strapped to his bed, his family claim, saying that led directly to a heart attack on May 10, which put him in a coma. Kelly died a week later.

The autopsy was inconclusive, reports NZME, but a cardiologist blamed deep vein thrombosis leading to a pulmonary embolism - which is when a blood clot formed by a lack of movement breaks free and blocks the blood flow into the lungs.

The hospital has refused to release records on how much time Kelly spent in restraints, the family told RNZ

"It just seems medieval to me," said his mother Martha Savage.

"We were just shocked when we first found out and it seems like it's something from a movie back in the Middle Ages. It doesn't seem like a modern society would be doing this."

Pat said Kelly needed to be in a hospital, but didn't need to be tied down - especially considering he was already sedated.

"The fact that Kelly was here... to try to help international relations, trying to teach Japanese children English, and then he's just dying in this kind of outrageous circumstances that would never happen in New Zealand should be an embarrassment to Japan," he told RNZ.

The hospital told the family the restraint was "stopped at suitable times".

In a post on Facebook, Pat said the family was now working to ensure no other families have to endure the death of a family member in similar circumstances.

"We don't want to sue anybody, we don't want money. We just want other people to not go through this terrible situation again," Martha told RNZ.

Their plans will be revealed in a press conference on Wednesday next week.

A funeral for Kelly was held in May, and a memorial will take place in Wellington later this month.