Beds in nursing homes could be a threat to patient safety

When an elderly loved one needs personal care and medical attention that spouses or family members cannot provide, they often move to a nursing home facility. These facilities typically have the staff, resources and equipment that can make life more comfortable for a patient.

However, accidents can happen in nursing homes, particularly when conditions are substandard and staff is lacking or negligent. For instance, did you know that a nursing home patient’s bed could pose a threat to his or her safety?

Dangerous beds

According to this article from the ECRI Institute, patients who use an electric low-profile bed could become trapped or injured if the bed is lowered while there is an overbed table in use, as the base of the table sits under the bed.

When the bed and table bases interact, the table can tip over and anything on that table can spill onto a person in the bed. This could be a hot cup of coffee or other items that could cause injury.

Further, the report notes that a person could even become trapped between the table and the bed. Patients who are left unattended for extended amounts of time in this position could suffer serious injuries and emotional trauma.

Suggestions to prevent these situations

The article goes on to recommend certain actions to prevent these incidences from occurring. Among the recommendations are refraining from lowering a bed when there is anything underneath it, restricting a patient’s access to controlling the height of the bed and locking adjustment functions.

However, another important preventative measure would be to have qualified, trained and attentive staff members who can help patients make any necessary adjustments to their bed or other equipment and respond immediately if the need arises.

What to do when accidents happen

Unfortunately, there are numerous facilities in Ohio and across the U.S. that have inadequate resources and unqualified staff members, as well as unsafe or broken equipment that put patient safety in jeopardy. This can lead to serious accidents and injuries to vulnerable loved ones.

Should this occur, family members may want to examine the legal remedies that may be available, including compensation for damages suffered as a result of negligence or recklessness.

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