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A Texas nurse may be a visual learner and this image from Pinterest stuck in one’s mind although this never happened to a patient under one’s care. According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are about 2.5 million hospital and nursing home beds in use in the United States. Between 1985 and January 1, 2009, 803 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in beds with rails were reported to FDA. Of these reports, 480 people died, 138 had a nonfatal injury, and 185 were not injured because staff intervened. Most patients were frail, elderly or confused.

Using bedrails has both benefits and risks. We want to prevent our patients from falling but make sure to regularly assess that bedrails appropriately match the patient’s needs. Be aware that gaps can be created by movement or compression of the mattress caused by patient weight, movement, bed position, or specialty mattress. Encourage patients or family to talk to the healthcare team to determine whether or not bed rails are indicated. Let your patients and their families know that in many cases, the patient can sleep safely without bed rails. You may do your rounds to include reassessment of the need for using bed rails on a frequent, regular basis.


“Hospital Beds – A Guide to Bed Safety Bed Rails in Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Home Health Care: The Facts.” Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Center for Devices and Radiological Health, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.


Austin Nurse Attorney Can Help You Save Your License


If you know that you have participated in unethical practices and may be facing disciplinary action by the Texas BON, it is best to consult an experienced Austin Nurse Attorney before it is too late to save your license.  Contact attorney Yong J. An directly at (832) 428-5679 by calling or texting 24/7.