We were recently asked to help solve a safety issue for a group of care homes where they had identified that the sizing of their pressure-relieving mattresses was not compatible with their profiling beds and was causing entrapment issues for their residents.
Having discussed their issues and concerns with their Clinical Director, we learned that they had already looked at different ways to overcome this challenge, including purchasing various mattress infills from different companies to try to fill the gaps. However, none had fitted correctly, which left them without a satisfactory solution and a continued health and safety risk.
Through our industry experience and our network, we have been able to recommend and provided a bespoke service for them and we have supplied mattress infills based on the exact dimensions and measurements they needed for their particular bed and mattress combination.
Our Customer Has Achieved Their Desired Outcomes Of:
- Improved safety of their residents.
- Reduced risks of entrapment of their residents.
- Increased compliance with regulators.
- Gaining peace of mind that their residents are safe in their beds.
- And we got to do what we ABSOLUTELY LOVE doing, which is to work with our customers to find solutions to their problems.
This prompted me to think: “Who else could be experiencing this challenge and others around entrapment and how to avoid it, and could benefit from me sharing our solutions?”
I decided to write my latest helpful and educational article to provide our ‘Top 5 Solutions To Help You Overcome Your Bed Safety Challenges And Avoid Bed Rail Entrapment’, based on real-time challenges we have helped care managers and providers overcome.
A few simple measures can be taken to provide a safer bed environment for your residents, and to help reduce severe or even fatal danger zones and other bed-related injuries:
Challenge 1: Pressure Relieving Mattress Not Fitting Bed Platforms Correctly And Creating Entrapment Gaps
One of the biggest challenges which care homes face is when profiling beds and mattresses are purchased separately rather than as a complete unit. This leaves the potential high risk that mattresses don’t fit the bed platforms correctly, either width or lengthways, and causing dangerous gaps between mattresses and beds.
Using a properly-sized compatible mattress on each profiling bed will reduce gaps between the bed head, footboards, and bed sides – when purchasing profiling beds and/or mattresses it is vital to check that mattresses will fit the bed platform properly, as stated by The Health and Safety Executive:
‘The length, width and height of the mattress should be checked to ensure that these dimensions are within the limits specified by the bed manufacturer and do not introduce gaps that could increase the risk of entrapment. If the mattress is not the right size, the bed rails may not fit properly and create entrapment gaps. Some manufacturers may also specify the density of static mattresses.’
Make Sure Your Bed And Mattress Combination Are Compatible In Size.
Many hospital bed brands also offer compatible-sized pressure-relief mattresses designed to go along with them. Making the decision to purchase a mattress and bed of the same brand will help to eliminate any entrapment issues, or alternatively, you can ask us if your two products are compatible, and we’ll be happy to help.
Challenge 2: Care Homes Having A Combination Of Beds And Mattresses Which Don’t Fit Correctly And How To Overcome This
By adding mattress side infills, mattress cradles and/or head and foot board protectors will fill dangerous openings between the mattress and side rails or head/footboards while helping to protect fragile or sensitive skin from harmful bruising and tears due to hard surfaces.
These are available in standard off-the-shelf sizing and also any bespoke sizing can be manufactured to your individual and specific measurements.
Challenge 3: The Depth Of The Mattress Or Mattress Combination Is Not Compatable With The Safe Height Of The Bed Rails As Stated In The Side Rail Regulation 60601/2/52
This can create a risk of an elderly and vulnerable person being able to climb over and fall and injure themselves.
These rail regulations must be adhered to by all care providers, which can be difficult, especially in homes with a range of bed and mattress types, and where mattresses can be moved between different beds.
Review your mattress and bed combinations and take into consideration the height of your bed rails and depth of the mattress when purchasing.
If you are still using overlay mattresses with a 2nd underlay mattress, consider moving to replacement mattress systems, which will reduce the height of the mattress and help make you compliant with the regulations.
Some bed manufacturers also provide extra high side rails and/or side rail extensions compatible with their beds to enhance patient safety.
Challenge 4: Ill-Fitting Bed Rail Bumpers
We know that with the various sizes of beds and length of bed rails, there can be challenges with matching the correct sizing, style, and length of bed rail bumpers, which can leave parts of the bed rails exposed and risks of injury to residents creating a safety risk and an issue for care providers.
When purchasing bumpers, opt for full length bed rail bumpers which are considered to be best practice by care professionals and regulators for safety.
Some of the largest bed manufacturers will offer bed rail bumpers which are made to a bespoke size to specifically fit their makes and models of beds and rails for correct fit.
If these options do not give you the right solution, you can consider a bespoke order of bed rail bumpers which we can manufacture to your specific dimensions for specific beds.
Challenge 5: Lack Of Maintenance Of Bed Rails
According to The Health and Safety Executive ‘significant numbers of incidents are caused by a lack of maintenance. Problems include loose fixings, missing clamps and worn or bent components; these can lead to bed rails moving out of position and becoming unsafe. These must be identified, and remedial action taken to prevent injury.’
We can provide a range of manufacturers’ spare parts and accessories. This includes the siderail slider system to ensure your bed rails are well-maintained and fit securely to your profiling beds, helping to prevent falls and other accidents and providing a secure solution to bed protection.
How Can Hcsuk Help You To Improve Your Bed Safety
All of Hcsuk’s range of profiling beds are side rail compliant for your peace of mind.
- When we provide proposals for the purchase of profiling beds and or mattresses, we will always raise compatible sizing as a safety issue for your consideration.
- We can provide you with a bed/mattress measurement call-out service to ensure your new purchase of beds or mattresses are compatible and compliant.
- We provide you with easy to assemble bed rail height extensions.
- Part of our servicing package for you includes bed inspections, where your side rails are checked to ensure you are compliant.
- We can provide you with a simple to use bed rail height measurement tool, shown below, so that you can quickly and easily check if you are compliant. If you would like to be sent copies of these testers, please get in touch.
- We can provide you with a Bed Rail Audit to check your compliance with current regulations.
- We can provide you with bespoke sizing solutions for bed rail bumpers and mattress infills according to your individual and specific needs.
- We have a range of fit for purpose product solutions in our Avoiding Bed Rail Entrapment range which you can view here
If you have a specific challenge or concern around your bed safety, any bed rail entrapment issues or compliance, then please contact us today on 017713 713713 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to work with you to help you!
You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within HCS is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, HCS has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.