As with all high-risk areas, the risk of entrapment from the use of bed rails comes in and out of the news cycle as the result of negative outcomes. Headlines are being made after a recent announcement from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about a recall on certain bed rails. The recall is driven, in part, but reported fatalities from older adult use of bed rails. All of the fatalities were related to adults who were in their mid-eighties. Two of these deaths, unfortunately, occurred in assisted living facilities.

Since the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) has emphasized different areas of focus, including a heavy focus on infection control, this news serves as an important reminder about bedrails in use, whether you operate assisted living facilities or nursing homes. There is a risk of entrapment and asphyxiation associated with the use of bedrails, and if they are going to be used in your facilities, you need to ensure resident safety.

Here’s some things to think about . . . Should someone in Plant Ops be checking to see if there are gaps between the mattress and siderails that could potentially entrap a resident? Yes. Should someone be checking to see when the last preventative maintenance was conducted on those bedrails? You bet. Don’t forget – residents need to be assessed before siderails are implemented.

Stay tuned for an upcoming “Ftag of the Week” for F700 Bedrails. In the mean time, do you need compliance assistance to ensure your facility’s system is working as it relates to resident safety and bedrails? Contact CMS Compliance Group, Inc. to learn about our consulting services.

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