A Kansas City nursing home was fined $10,000 by state regulators after a resident died in her bed at the facility. The facility was using bed rails to allevaite the risk of falling. Unfortunately, the resident became trappedin between her mattress and the bed rails and died.
The medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was positional asphyxiation.
Bed rails seem like a natural way to prevent falls by nursing home residents who try to get out of bed. However, there are a number of dangers associated with the, including the risk that the resident will become entangled in the rails and not be able to free herself or summon help.
There are a number of other means that can be used to reduce that kind of fall risk, such as lowering the bed or using a pressure-sensitive bed alarm which will alert the nursing staff when the resident attempts to get out of bed unattended.