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Why Use Bed Side Rails? Bed side rails are used in hospitals, nursing homes, residential homes, hospices and in the community to reduce the risk of falls from the bed. They are not intended to limit the freedom of movement or to be used to restrain patients in bed. Bed side rails should not be used as a maintenance form of managing residents. Legally, the health and safety of people who use care services is covered.
Users who use bed side rails but not in health or social care premises such as in their own homes and not receiving professional care, are not covered by this legislation, however following the guidelines and advice given where relevant allow for practical safety considerations to be adhered to.
Occasionally, some people choose to use their own bed when receiving care, which will require their equipment to meet relevant guidelines for safe use. Common causes of accidents involving bed rails are: Poorly fitting bed rails that may result in parts of the body becoming trapped, e.
This could arise from using a third party bed rail that is not designed for use with a particular bed type. Poor bed rail design, for example very large spacing between the rails that may result in parts of the body becoming trapped Movement of the bed rail away from the side of a divan mattress Use of mattress overlay which reduces the effective height of the bed rail that may result in the person falling over the top of the bed rail and out of bed.
The extra combined height of the mattress would make the bed side rail less effective as it is easier for the occupant to fall from the bed over the bedside rail. A newer, thinner replacement mattress is used sometimes as a replacement for mattress overlay and air mattress , this could be too low, creating increased gaps between the top of the mattress and bed side rails, meaning increased chance of entrapment. If the standard mattress is replaced with a lightweight foam mattress, the whole bedside rail assembly, including the mattress and occupant can tip off the bed when the occupant rolls against the bedside rail.
This is because many divan bed side rails rely on the weight of a standard traditional divan mattress to hold the assembly securely in place. The hazard of entrapment between the side face of the mattress and the bed side rail may be exacerbated due to the soft, easily compressible nature of the mattress edge.
Junior bed sheets are also available in white only. Existing combinations should also be reviewed to ensure that they are compatible with the user and the bed. That depends on the parent; bedside cribs can be attached to your bed, their height can be adjusted so that they are level with your mattress and they have drop-down sides so you can easily reach your baby.
If an air mattress is intended to be used with a bed rail then the mattress supplier should be contacted for advice. Maintenance Many incidents are caused by a lack of maintenance. Bed side rail assemblies should be included on a planned preventative maintenance schedule and records should be kept of inspections and maintenance.
Risk assessment includes the combination of the occupant, proposed bed rail, the bed and the mattress or mattresses where overlays are used. Existing combinations should also be reviewed to ensure that they are compatible with the user and the bed. The risk assessment is to be repeated if the bed, mattress, bed rail or condition of the occupant changes.
Purchasing procedures should ensure that only appropriate equipment is obtained. These procedures should include experience and knowledge gained from previous risk assessments and use. Do the manufacturers provide guidance about when the use of bedside rails may be inappropriate? Is it to be used with a small person or does the person have an abnormally large or small head?
Our trained staff can conduct an audit of your premises and provide a report outlining recommendations with regards to safe use of side rails — in many instances we have actually saved the care homes money!
BaKare Beds have a nationwide service team providing audit, training, service, maintenance and inspection services to many care homes and hospices across the UK.
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