According to a brief issued by the FDA in 2000 and revised in 2010, there are roughly 2.5 million healthcare beds in use in the United States.
Between 1985 and 2008, there were 803 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled as a direct result of resident bed rails. Of these reports, 480 patients died, 138 had a nonfatal injury, and 185 were not injured because staff intervened.
As the chart illustrates, the overwhelming majority of residents who encountered entrapment issues with their bed rails died as a result. This illustrates what a serious hazard bed rail entrapment can pose.
What is more, in a 2006 report issued by the FDA a medical expert states that entrapment events are likely underreported. This means that there are more entrapments that occur than are reported.
It is also worth noting that there is little data available to indicate what percentage of falls are directly associated with bed rails. Nonetheless, there is a statistically significant amount of clinical documentation implicating bed rails in causing falls.
Of all patients in beds with rails, those who have the following problems should be closely assessed when determining how to prevent harm as a result of rail entrapment or falls resulting from rails:
- memory issues
- uncontrolled body movement
The following report in this series will outline the different types of bed rails and the various dangers each type poses.
To learn more, please check out our recent series of blogs discussing The Dangers of Resident Bed Rails in Nursing Homes:
- The Dangers of Resident Bed Rails in Nursing Homes–An Overview: Part 1 of 9
- The Dangers of Resident Bed Rails in Nursing Homes–Types of Bed Rails: Part 3 of 9
- The Dangers of Resident Bed Rails in Nursing Homes—Anatomy of Entrapment Part 4 of 9
- The Dangers of Resident Bed Rails in Nursing Homes–Guiding Principles Regarding the Safe use of Bed Rails: Part 5 of 9
- The Dangers of Resident Bed Rails in Nursing Homes–Policy Considerations: Part 6 of 9
- The Dangers of Resident Bed Rails in Nursing Homes–Risk Intervention: Part 7 of 9
- The Dangers of Resident Bed Rails in Nursing Homes– Bed Rail Safety Guidelines: Part 8 of 9
- The Dangers of Resident Bed Rails in Nursing Homes–Conclusion: Part 9 of 9
The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care, including the improper use of side rails. If you believe your loved one has been harmed because a nursing home and its employees cut corners, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.