Are Bed Rail Injuries a Sign of Nursing Home Neglect?
When checking your senior loved one’s room for safety concerns, it may not occur to you to check around or near their bed. Specifically, bedrails can be a risk for a few reasons. Because most hospitals and nursing homes use bedrails, it can be helpful to review some of the biggest safety concerns and whether or not these injuries constitute nursing home negligence.
What is a Bedrail Injury?
A bed rail injury is any injury that occurs from the misuse or poor quality of a bed rail. This may include cuts, scrapes, falls from the bedrail not working properly, or even a bedrail trapping the resident in their bed.
What Leads to Bedrail Injuries?
The misuse or mechanical failure of a bedrail is what leads to bedrail injuries in hospitals or nursing homes. One of the most common causes of bedrail injuries is from the bedrail not working properly. A bedrail is designed to stop someone from rolling over and falling off the bed. Because patients in a hospital or nursing home may be sedated or have limited mobility, this is especially important. If the bedrail doesn’t work as it should, the person is at risk of falling out of bed, which can lead to broken bones, internal bleeding, or head or neck injuries.
Another common cause of bedrail injuries is when the bed isn’t properly made up and the person falls in between the mattress and the bed rail. If the resident doesn’t have the strength to pull themselves out of this gap, it can quickly become a dangerous situation.
How Can You Tell if a Bed Rail is Safe?
It can be difficult to tell the safety and quality of a bed rail, especially if you’re not familiar with them. The other problem is that even though bed rails are commonly used in hospitals and nursing homes, there are minimal regulations on how to use them.
Without guidance, even caregivers can make mistakes that make bedrails dangerous, like pairing bedrails with mattresses that don’t fit properly. Even when a nursing home makes an effort to pair the right bed rails with their frames, furniture and beds are often moved around.
How to Prevent Bed Rail Injuries
There are a few things that you can do to help prevent bedrail injuries in an assisted living facility or nursing home, including:
- Check your loved one’s bed: When visiting your loved one, check that there isn’t a gap between their bed rail and mattress.
- Do your research: If you’re responsible for buying your loved one’s bed, do your research ahead of time and choose a trusted brand bed rail.
- Match bedding: Matching bed rails with the bed in which they came on is usually the best option.
- Review how your loved one gets in and out of bed: If possible, take a few moments and review how your loved one gets in and out of bed. Using the bed rail wrong or climbing over it can reduce its durability.
If your loved one is injured, it can be often difficult to determine if a bed rail is to blame. If the cause is obvious, such as the bed rail didn’t lock in place and they rolled onto the floors, you may be eligible for compensation through a defective product case. The products that are meant to keep your loved one safe should be reliable.
Contact a Paterson, NJ Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today
Seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to ensure that patients are safe and secure at all times. If your loved one suffered an injury, or worse, due to nursing home abuse in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Sugarman Law Firm represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Jersey City, East Orange, Trenton, and Elizabeth. Call (732) 877-1975 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We have an office conveniently located at 80 East Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876, as well as an office in Marlton, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.