Bedrails are the most common type of physical restraint used in nursing homes today. Bedrails were once only associated with confining residents to their bed. Today, new bedrail designs, have been developed in order to assist residents get into and out of bed.
Even with new designs, bedrails commonly cause falls and entrapment, which may result in fractures or even death. In order to help identify potential problems with bedrails, the FDA has identified seven ‘entrapment zones.’ The most common reasons, residents attempt to leave their beds are as follows:
- Need to use bathroom
- Pain / discomfort
- Hunger / thirst
- Sleep walking
- Difficultly breathing while lying down
Nursing home residents with cognitive impairment are the most likely group to be injured in an incident involving bedrails. Nonetheless, a complete collaboration with many different departments within a nursing home is imperative in order to provide a safe and restful nights sleep for all. Simple programs such as: implementation of scheduled toileting, administration of increased pain medication prior to bed and identification of residents with delirium can be helpful in preventing bedrail injuries.