Nursing home bed rails are under review for the possibility of bed rail entrapment. Bed rail entrapment can cause death by asphyxia when a patient becomes caught between the mattress and the bed rail. Bed rails that come attached to beds have a less likely potential to entrap a patient. Portable bed rails that are added to beds separately cause more opportunity for danger.
“They can’t even scream; air is squeezed out of the lungs,” said a bioethics professor explaining what a patient experiences during bed rail entrapment. “The problem is worse because this mostly happens to small people who can go into slots between the mattress and the rail. They don’t have the strength to extricate themselves or are confused and demented.” Regulations are possibly on the horizon to ensure more safety with bed rails by requiring FDA approved hospital beds with bed rails for children or elderly in nursing homes. For more, read the story.