Bed rails are often used in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to help those who are most vulnerable. Those who are bedridden or who have mobility issues may have bed rails on their beds to help them sit up and to provide added support as they move around. Bed rails also keep an elderly person from falling out of bed in the middle of the night and can help prevent falls as well as wandering.
Unfortunately, bed rail injuries in nursing homes in Hollywood and across South Florida are surprisingly common. Many people don’t consider that something so simple can cause significant injury and even fatalities, but it can happen.
Common bed rail injuries include:
- Patients becoming trapped between the bed rail and mattress, potentially suffocating or fracturing rib cages
- Patients climbing over bed rails and falling from the top of the bed rail as they attempt to leave the bed
- Patients unable to leave their bed due to bed rails and suffering bed sores or other complications
- Patients getting IV lines or other medical implements tangled up in bed rails
- Patients experiencing pinching or abrasions through contact with bed rails
Bed rails need to be used correctly and unfortunately, they are often not used with due care. If you are visiting a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, place your hand in between the bed rail and mattress. If you can fit four fingers in there, there is enough space for the bed user to fall in and seriously injure themselves. Also, check the make and model of the bedrail and the mattress. Are they supposed to go together? Incorrectly pairing mattresses and bed rails is a common cause of injury. Check for recalls on bed rails. Some have a dangerous manufacturing or design defects which can be dangerous. Also, check for the condition of the bed rail in general. Is it flimsy or appear to be in poor repair?
Even patients in beds with bed rails need to be supervised correctly. You want to ensure that improper restraints are not used with the bed rail. There should be a way for residents to call for help when they need it and staff should be responsive to calls for help, so residents are not tempted to try to get out of bed themselves, possibly climbing on the rail.
If a loved one has suffered an injury due to a bed rail, it can be difficult to tell where negligence has occurred. The nursing home may not want to take any responsibility or may allege the injuries were caused by another matter. You need to ask questions and get a full investigation.
To get answers and to get legal support and representation in your case, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation. You can meet in our offices in Homestead, Miami, or Hollywood or even in your office, home, hospital or other location. Your first consultation with us is always free and comes with no obligation.