Before choosing to move your loved one to a long-term care facility, you probably did a great deal of research. Most likely, you visited more than one home and spoke to staff members to learn about how it operates. You had every right to expect that your family member would be safe and receive good care.
Unfortunately, all sorts of accidents can occur when the nursing home and its employees are careless. Among the most tragic is bed rail entrapment in San Diego nursing homes. If your loved one sustained a serious injury or lost their life due to a side rail accident, a seasoned local attorney can help you pursue justice and compensation in a nursing home injury claim.
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What is Bed Rail Entrapment?
Bed rail entrapment happens when a nursing home resident becomes trapped between the bed frame and bed rail or grab bars. If the opening or gap between the mattress and the bed rail is greater than 4 inches, people can get their head, neck, or chest stuck. When people get stuck between the bed frame and side rail, they are at risk of strangling or asphyxiating themselves. If the bed rail is older and outdated, with wider gaps between bars, residents can also get their heads stuck between them, restricting or cutting off their airflow, which can lead to suffocation. Injuries and fatalities can also occur if a facility incorrectly assembles the bed rail or uses a mattress of the wrong size.
While bed rail accidents are not especially common in nursing homes, they often result in devastating injuries or deaths when they do occur. A compassionate San Diego attorney can help grieving family members search for justice in a wrongful death claim against the nursing home, its staff members, and anyone else responsible for a bedrail accident.
Why Bed Rails are so Dangerous in San Diego Nursing Homes
While bed rails can be useful for keeping many residents safe, they are not a good fit for everyone. Some patients, such as those suffering dementia, delirium, or other altered mental states, are more apt to move or thrash around during the night, increasing their risk of entrapment. Nursing homes should consider alternative solutions for residents who are at a higher risk of entrapment. Instead of bed rails, they can lower bed frames so that there is not as much distance between the bed and the floor, lessening the chances of a serious injury if a resident falls. They can also use special mattresses, roll guards, or foam bumpers instead of metal bed rails.
Nursing homes also cannot use bed rails as a restraint. Some overly crowded facilities use bed rails as a replacement for supervising their residents. Staff members should monitor their patients regularly instead of relying on side rails to keep them safely in their beds.
Discuss Bed Rail Entrapment Injuries in Nursing Homes with a San Diego Attorney
If your loved one suffered harm in a bed rail entrapment accident, an experienced lawyer could investigate precisely how the entrapment occurred and determine why the facility used the bed rail, whether it was installed correctly, whether staff should have noticed the entrapment sooner, and whether there were any manufacture or design defects that caused the rail to malfunction.
The nursing facility could be legally responsible for your loved one’s injuries or loss of life. You could be eligible for financial damages. It is critical that you meet with an attorney who has experience with bed rail entrapment in San Diego nursing homes. Get in touch with our legal team today.