Hospital Bed Entrapment and How to Prevent it

Bed entrapment is where a patient on a hospital bed gets stuck. Toddlers are also susceptible to bed entrapment. Studies show that patients who are highly likely to get entrapped include:

  1. Those suffering from dementia
  2. Those who are easily agitated
  3. Those who like doing things on their own without calling for help

The FDA has already listed entrapment as risky for most patients on these beds. It has therefore given out recommendations to bed manufacturers, home care givers and anyone near the ailing patient on preventing these hazards.

Recommendations to bed manufacturers

In their report, the FDA called to bed manufacturers to exercise caution and due diligence so as to prevent injuries and deaths on the patients who bought their hospital beds. Rails for example should not be made big enough that one can get stuck there.

Recommendations to home care givers

Home care givers were asked to check whether their patients needed bed side rails or not. If a patient can be able to take themselves to the toilet and back to bed without help, then they do not need side rails. The only thing you might require in such a case are bedside mats so that the patient would not get injured incase they fall at night.

Patients who easily get agitated or suffer from mental health should be checked regularly just in case they start wandering on their own or want to get out of bed without assistance since they are possible candidates of bed entrapment.

Types of bed entrapment

There are seven zones of bed entrapment

Zone 1 Within the bed rails
Zone 2 Under the rails next to one rail
Zone 3 Between rail and mattress
Zone 4 Under rail and end of rails
Zone 5 Between the split bed rails
Zone 6 Between end of rail and head/foot board
Zone 7 Between edge of mattress and head/foot board

We have pointed out that bed rails can be dangerous in causing bed entrapment. So should one ditch that bed rail that they were using for their elderly since it might cause bed entrapment? My answer is a simple No. Why? Because bed rails are themselves great in protecting your patient from falls.

Therefore the only way to prevent these falls as well as prevent entrapment is to install bed bumpers and make sure that the space between the rails is not big enough for the patient to fit in.

Preventive Mechanisms for each of the bed entrapment zones

Zone 1 Use a posey padded side rail protector
Zone 2 Use bed bumpers
Zone 3 Use bed bumpers
Zone 4 Use bed bumpers
Zone 5 Use full rails
Zone 6 Use a mattress wedge
Zone 7 Use of wedges and mattress extenders

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