Bed Rail Entrapment Injuries
Potential risks of bed rails may include:
-Strangling, suffocating, bodily injury or death when patients or part of their body are caught between rails or between the bed rails and mattress.
-More serious injuries from falls when patients climb over rails.
-Skin bruising, cuts, and scrapes.
-Inducing agitated behavior when bed rails are used as a restraint.
Feeling isolated or unnecessarily restricted.
-Preventing patients, who are able to get out of bed, from performing routine activities such as going to the bathroom or retrieving something from a closet.
The FDA reports that bed entrapment injuries are disturbingly frequent. Between January 1, 1985 and January 1, 2008, FDA received 772 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in hospital beds. The reports included 460 deaths, 136 nonfatal injuries, and 176 cases where staff needed to intervene to prevent injuries. Most patients were frail, elderly or confused.
There are recommended bed rail guidelines for hospital and nursing homes for bedrails. When bed rails are used, it is essential that the medical staff perform an on-going assessment of the patient's physical and mental status and closely monitor high-risk patients. The facility should also consider lowering one or more sections of the bed rail, such as the foot rail, and reducing the gaps between the mattress and the side rails. It is also recommended that the facility should use a proper size mattress or mattress with raised foam edges to prevent patients from being trapped between the mattress and rail.
The failure to follow these recommended procedures can give rise to a Michigan medical malpractice lawsuit or Michigan nursing home negligence lawsuit. If a loved one has suffered injuries or death due to a bed rail entrapment, you should contact our office immediately.
For more information on Michigan medical malpractice cases, you should request our FREE BOOK, "The Ultimate Michigan Medical Malpractice Handbook."