Invacare Continuing Care – Bed Rail Entrapment Awareness

Bed Rail Entrapment Awareness

Today 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 individuals caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in beds with rails were reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Of these reports, 480 people died, 138 had a nonfatal injury, and 185 were not injured because staff intervened. Most individuals were frail, elderly or confused.

As the leading producer of bed systems and components (bed, mattress and rails) to the home and long-term care industries, Invacare strives to ensure individual safety. The importance of proper individual assessment, correct installation and the ongoing review and maintenance of the complete bed system should never be overlooked. With millions of bed systems in both home and long-term care environments, awareness of the potential for entrapment is vital.

In March of 2006 the Hospital Bed Safety Workgroup (in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration) published the Hospital Bed System Dimensional and Assessment Guidance to Reduce Entrapment (FDA Guidelines).

As an active member of the HBSW, Invacare and its subsidiaries have strived to provide bed systems (rails, mattresses, and beds) that reduce the risk of entrapment. Specifically, reducing the possibility that a user could be caught, trapped or entangled in the space in or about the bed rail, mattress or medical bed frame. This could result in death or serious injury.

Since the release of the FDA Guidelines, Invacare and its subsidiaries have modified our bed systems to meet these guidelines when products are purchased new, unused and as a system with all Invacare components. Invacare beds, rails and mattresses are specifically designed and manufactured for use as a system. Beds, rails and mattresses designed by other manufacturers have not been tested by Invacare and are not recommended for use with Invacare products.

Entrapment Zones
In the 2006 guidance from the FDA, there are 7 zones identified where patients can become entrapped. Being aware of the 7 zones can help with assessing the individulas needs, educating the caregiver, and reducing the risk of entrapment.

Clinical Guidelines
Eliminating the rail greatly reduces the risk of bed entrapment. It is important for healthcare providers, caregivers, family members and individulas to know when rails are acceptable, and how to properly utilize rails when they are installed.

Invacare has compiled a list of educational websites to provide more information about entrapment, and how it can be prevented.

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