Hospital Beds – Avoiding the Zones of Entrapment

Bed rail entrapment is not a rare occurrence in the hospital and nursing home setting. Despite repeated warnings from consumer groups and the FDA, nursing facilities across the country are using hospital beds that violate well known FDA dimensional guideline addressing safe hospital beds and bed rails, creating in increased risk of suffocation and asphyxia.

The FDA has identified seven zones of entrapment, and made recommendations as to the acceptable dimensions of those zones to avoid entrapment hazards. Walton Law Firm LLP recently handled the case of an elderly woman who was found dead sitting on the floor next to her bed with her head wedged between the bars of her bed rail. She was literally hanging from the bed rail. The firm brought a lawsuit against the facility and the bed rail manufacturer for violations of FDA guidelines and other acts of negligence.

For those interested in learning more about the bedrail entrapment, and the identified zones, click here to see a diagram of the zones of entrapment. The video below is also an excellent instructional aid on the various ways a person can become entrapped in a hospital bed.