A new set of guidelines have cited several examples of harm caused by the improper use of bedrails.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is asking healthcare professionals for their views on a new set of guidelines on the safe use of bed rails.
A draft copy of the updated guidance document on the safe use of bed rails was published earlier this month.
The guidelines warn that while bed rails are commonly used in acute and community care the “use of bed rails can carry serious risks for users if they are prescribed, installed or maintained improperly”.
It cites several examples of harm caused by the improper use of bed rails including; patient climbing over rails, a child becoming trapped then asphyxiating and multiple occupants becoming trapped.
The document goes on to highlight that the majority of incidents involving bed rails happen in a community setting.
Also identifying areas of good practice, the document emphasises the need for users to check bed rails are necessarily and supports communication between staff and patients.
The new guidelines aim to tackle harm to patients by providing clear advice staff with responsibility for the provision, prescription, use, maintenance and fitting of bed rails.
A consultation has now been launched to examine if the proposed document met the needs of the intended audience.