Bed Rail Injuries in Nursing Homes
In nursing homes, a bed rail is a key assistive device that can help protect seniors against injury. Unfortunately, they can also pose a threat of their own. Bed rail injuries can cause serious complications for seniors. Nursing Homes Abuse offers information about the rights of seniors who have suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, including connecting victims with bed rail injuries in nursing home lawyers.
- The Nursing Home Reform Act: Residents’ Legal Rights and Protections
- Types of Bed Rail Injuries
- Why Bed Rail Injuries are Common in Nursing Homes
- Why are Side Rails Used if They Pose Asphyxiation Risk?
- Why are Bed Rails so Dangerous in Nursing Homes and Hospitals?
- Lawsuits and Bed Rail Injuries in Nursing Homes
- Contact a Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse Lawyer Today
Bed rails provide necessary protection for nursing home residents by preventing them from rolling out of bed and falling. The rails also help residents get in and out of bed, reposition, and provide easy access to bed controls and personal items. Unfortunately, bed rails can also pose dangers for nursing home residents, often entrapping them or serving as obstacles.
You may have the right to compensation if you or a loved one have suffered a bed rail injury in a nursing home. At Nursing Homes Abuse, we encourage victims of bed rail injuries in nursing homes to work closely with experienced lawyers to learn about their rights and receive the protection they deserve.
The Nursing Home Reform Act: Residents' Legal Rights and Protections
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act provides significant legal protections for nursing home residents. It aims to prevent abuse and neglect in nursing homes by establishing residents’ rights and standards for the care facilities must provide. Most importantly, the law affords nursing home residents the right to be free from abuse, neglect, and mistreatment and to have their basic needs met.
Types of Bed Rail Injuries
Bed rails pose a risk in several key ways. First, seniors can slip into the space between the bed and the rail. Second, trying to climb over bed rails can pose a significant danger, increasing the force behind a fall and raising the odds of injury.
Common bed rail injuries include:
- Cardiac arrest
- Head or neck injury
- Skin bruising or cuts
Fall injuries can prove severe, especially if seniors try to climb over the top of the bed rail and slip. Fall injuries can include concussions, back and neck injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries.
Why Bed Rail Injuries are Common in Nursing Homes
While bed rails can significantly reduce the risk of falls and fall injuries when used correctly, some nursing homes fail to use them according to their instructions and intent, raising the risk of injury for residents.
- Improperly fitted bed rails create an entrapment risk because a senior resident can slide between the bed and the bed rail.
- Despite regulations noting the dangers of physical restraints, some nursing homes use bed rails to restrain residents to their beds, increasing the risk that a patient will fall by trying to get out of the bed anyway.
- Bed rails can cause bruises, cuts, and scrapes as frail seniors bump or drag against them.
In addition, bed rails create a barrier that can cause agitated behavior or feelings of isolation and restriction in some seniors, which may lead to a decline in physical health or increased risk-taking behavior. Sometimes, bed rail use can serve as physical abuse against seniors in a nursing home, especially when used as a restraint against the resident’s will.
Increased Bed Rail Risk Due to Nursing Home Conditions
Conditions in nursing homes can affect the risk that patients will suffer injuries due to bed rails. Many nursing homes struggle with adequate staffing to meet the needs of their residents. Thus, staff members may prove less likely to notice if a senior slips between the rails and the bed or between sets of rails.
Furthermore, inadequate staffing means employees may fail to respond promptly to seniors’ requests and needs, increasing the odds that seniors will try to climb over or around the rails.
Negligence often occurs when staff members do not have adequate coverage or training to care for all nursing home residents. It’s important to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse.
Why are Side Rails Used if They Pose Asphyxiation Risk?
While bed rails can cause significant risks, they also offer some advantages for many nursing home patients. They can:
- Keep patients from falling out of bed
- Help seniors reposition or turn over in bed
- Offer a sense of security as seniors get into bed at night
- Provide something for seniors to hold onto as they get in or out of bed
- Protect against falls during the transportation process
- Provide convenient access to bed controls and personal items
Why are Bed Rails so Dangerous in Nursing Homes and Hospitals?
Primarily, bed rails pose a significant danger because of the lack of regulation. Bed rails do not need to meet regulatory standards, which means that nursing homes and hospitals may choose less expensive options without regard to how those rails fit or work for residents.
Improper installation and use can also raise the risk of severe injuries due to bed rails. When not installed correctly, they can fall from the bed or leave too large a gap between the rail and the bed.
Lawsuits and Bed Rail Injuries in Nursing Homes
If you or a loved one have suffered a bed rail injury in a nursing home, you may have the right to file a claim. An experienced and skilled lawyer can help you determine your rights and help you pursue compensation. Nursing Homes Abuse can guide you and connect you with an experienced and reputable nursing home abuse lawyer.
What To Do After a Bed Rail Injury in a Nursing Home
The following are some steps to take if you or a loved one suffer a bed rail injury:
- Report the injury immediately. Nursing home staff may need to evaluate the cause of the incident to prevent further danger to other residents.
- Seek medical care for any injuries.
- Document the accident scene by taking photos and notes and talking with witnesses.
- Contact a nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible.
Should I Pursue a Lawsuit after a Bed Rail Injury in a Nursing Home?
Any time you or a loved one suffer injuries from nursing home neglect, you may have the right to compensation. A nursing home neglect lawyer can counsel you about your rights, answer your questions, and provide the support you need to file a claim.
Contact a Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from nursing home neglect, including a bed rail injury, a lawyer can handle your claim and seek compensation for your damages.
Contact Nursing Homes Abuse today to learn more about how to protect your rights and how we can connect you with a lawyer who can help with your claim.