Understanding and Preventing Bed Rail Entrapment
Entrapment is defined as an occurrence involving a patient who is caught, trapped, or entangled in a hospital
bed system. Since 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published and updated its guidance to
reduce entrapment injuries and death, identifying seven common zones of entrapment risk.
Identifying at-risk patients
Patients are at the highest risk of entrapment while attempting to exit their beds—especially those who are
frail, elderly, or disoriented. Pain, uncontrolled movements, hypoxia, or absence of toileting aid can also
increase risk. Ongoing assessment is recommended to reduce a patient’s risk of entrapment. This may include
understanding the patient’s sleep habits, bedtime routines, and mobility challenges.
Promoting bed safety
Caregivers and facilities must promote a culture of safety, including regular inspections of bed frames,
mattresses, and accessories to ensure proper function. Medical bed manufacturers follow international standards
for design and testing to mitigate entrapment risk—the IEC 60601-2-52 standards were revised in
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