I understand that the beds in Kentucky nursing homes can be dangerous if a resident gets stuck between the mattress and the bedrails. Should all of the beds be checked periodically for safety, or is once enough?
It’s not necessary to check hospital and nursing home beds all at once, but they should be checked as part of an ongoing equipment maintenance program. As this implies, the beds should be checked repeatedly, not just one time.
Healthcare facilities should be checking the spaces between the mattress and the bed frame, between the mattress and the bedrail, and between the bars of the bedrail. Additionally, they should do this when the bed is articulated, or when the head or foot of the bed is raised, because this change in position creates larger or different spaces that might otherwise not be present.
Besides being assessed on a regular basis, a bed should be checked when
- some of the components have become worn (rails have become damaged or wobbly, mattresses have softened with age) and have created larger spaces that could be dangerous;
- accessories, such as positioning poles or mattress overlays, are attached to or removed from the bed; or
- components of the bed system, such as mattresses or bedrails, are replaced.
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