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Bed Rail Entrapment in Nursing Homes

bed rail entrapment

Bed rails help people move in and out of bed or reposition while lying down. Nursing homes often install bed rails so patients can shift if they are uncomfortable without waiting for assistance. However, bed rails can be dangerous for some patients. Individuals could catch their limbs in the rails and suffer significant injuries and even death.

Reach out to a dedicated local attorney if your loved one experienced bed rail entrapment in a nursing home. A legal professional can investigate the accident and force the nursing home to pay compensation for your loved one’s suffering.

Types of Bed Rail Accident Injuries

Bed rails prevent patients from rolling out of bed onto the floor. Some individuals with mobility issues can use a bed rail as leverage to turn themselves into a more comfortable position. They also help patients lift themselves to a sitting position to exit the bed safely.

However, severe injuries could occur if a person gets trapped in a bed rail. An older adult might get a hand, foot, or limb stuck in the openings between rails or between the frame and rails. Nursing home patients often fall over the bed rail onto the floor when attempting to free themselves, potentially causing hip fractures, subdural hematomas, and other severe injuries. Patients sometimes get their heads stuck in the space between the mattress and the bedframe or rail, which could cause suffocation and death.

Bed rails are inappropriate for some patients. Individuals who suffer from agitation or dementia are more likely to suffer bed rail injuries because they can panic when they recognize they cannot get out of bed. Similarly, nursing homes should not install bed rails for incontinent patients, who might try to get out of bed themselves if they must use the bathroom. A nursing home attorney could review a patient’s records to determine whether installing bed rails was appropriate in their specific case.

How Nursing Homes Can Prevent Bed Rail Accidents

Bed rail entrapment is a preventable injury in nursing homes. A patient that takes proper care should not have this experience. However, some patients should never be in a bed with bed rails. When an individual is an appropriate candidate for this equipment, the facility must take steps to ensure patient safety.

Patient Monitoring

Nursing homes must adequately monitor their patients. Ohio Administrative Code §3701-17-15 regulates restraining nursing home patients, and facilities may not use bed rails as de facto restraints. A nursing home could be liable if a patient suffers an injury because they raised the bed rails and did not check on the patient at reasonable intervals.

Mattress Safety

Many bed rail injuries occur because a patient gets stuck between the mattress and the bed frame. Mattresses can compress and change shape, especially if a patient is heavy or lies in the same position most of the time. Nursing homes must inspect mattresses frequently and replace them if the shape becomes compressed or distorted.

Deteriorated Equipment

Older bedrails could rust or deteriorate. Nursing homes must inspect them frequently and replace any that show signs of wear or damage

Proving Bed Rail Entrapment

Nursing homes must provide adequate care to their patients and not place them in conditions that could endanger them. A lawyer could investigate a situation and determine why the bed rail entanglement occurred at a nursing home. If the home did not take proper steps to ensure the patient’s safety, an individual and their family could seek compensation.

Reimbursement could cover any injury-related medical expenses and a patient’s pain and mental suffering. If a patient’s injuries were fatal, damages in a wrongful death case could include funeral and burial expenses.

Consult an Attorney After Bed Rail Entrapment in Nursing Homes

Bed rail accidents in nursing homes are almost always preventable. If your loved one was hurt when they got stuck in a bed rail, the nursing home could be liable for the patient’s damages. A local attorney has experience handling cases involving bed rail entrapment in nursing homes. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about your legal options.