Beds are meant to be a safe place for our patients to rest and recover. While these safe places provide numerous benefits, we need to beware of the potential injury that can occur when a patient’s bedrails fail or are improperly used.
Today, we’re going to look at the general benefits and cautions about using hospital bedrails and how to avoid further injury to the patient who uses them.
As healthcare providers, you know the benefits of bedrails: they prevent the patient from inadvertently falling out of bed, they help you reposition the patient in the bed, and they provide a way for patients to support themselves when getting in and out of bed.
When used improperly, hospital bedrails can cause additional patient injuries if they attempt to climb over the rail. If they accidentally bump or fall onto the rail, it can cause bruises, cuts, and scrapes. And if the bedrails were improperly installed, or for whatever reason fail to work correctly, they can cause injury when the patient uses it for support, expecting it to support their weight.
How to minimize injury
Here are some tips to minimize potential injury in patient hospital beds:
- Necessity: Assess whether bedrails are actually needed for the patient.
- Minimize gaps: Know the potential areas for entrapment around bedrails and install to minimize these gaps.
- Upgrade kits: Contact the manufacturer of older beds to see if any bedrail covers or upgrade kits are available to make the rails safer.
- Safety checks: perform regular safety checks of the rails each time they are repositioned to ensure they are locked and functioning correctly before leaving the patient.
- Mattress: Choose a mattress appropriate for the patient’s size, placement of injury, and weight.
If you’re looking to upgrade the mattress in your healthcare facility or nursing home, or for patients’ private use at home, talk to us. We can recommend one to match your patient’s needs exactly.