Entrapment occurs when a patient becomes stuck in spaces between or around the bed rails, mattress, or head or foot board. As a result of entrapment, patients may
- need help extracting themselves;
- get injured; or even
In the Zone
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Health Canada’s Medical Devices Bureau and representatives from national health care organizations and provider groups; patient advocacy groups; and medical bed and equipment manufacturers to form a working group in 1999 called the Hospital Bed Safety Workgroup (HBSW). The HBSW identified seven zones of entrapment and generated “Hospital Bed System Dimensional and Assessment Guidance to Reduce Entrapment” to define safer bed systems.
Following are Zones 1 through 4, the most frequently reported areas of entrapment, and the HBSW’s suggestions for preventing entrapment by following specific maximum spaces around the bed system components. The FDA continues to monitor reports for Zones 5 through 7 and will consider recommending standards if the need arises.
Zone 1. Within (between) the bars of the rails.
Zone 2. Under the bottom rail.
Zone 3. Between the rail and mattress.
The space for Zones 1 through 3 should be less than 4¾ inches, which is an approximation of head breadth.
Zone 4. Under the rail, at the end of the rail.
The space between the mattress support platform and the lowest part of the rail at the end of the rail should be less than 2⅜ inches. The V-shaped opening under the rail at its end should be greater than 60 degrees to prevent wedging.
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