Bed rails have many purposes such as assisting patients in and out of bed. They also prevent a patient who moves a lot in their sleep from falling out of bed. Some of the benefits and risks of bed rails include:
Benefits of Bed Rails
- They help a patient with turning and repositioning within the bed.
- They provide the patient with a handle to hold onto when getting in and out of bed.
- They provide the patient with a feeling of comfort and security within the hospital bed.
- Bed rails help prevent the potential risk of a patient falling out of bed when sleeping or being transported.
- They also provide easy access to bed controls.
Dangers of Bed Rails
- Bruising, cuts, and scrapes to the patient’s skin.
- Injury from falls due to a patient climbing over the rails.
- Strangulation, suffocation, injury or death when the patient’s body or parts of their body get caught between the rails.
- Patient difficulty getting in and out of bed.
Bed Rail Sizes
Bed rails come in a variety of sizes and styles such as:
- Full length- Extends the full range of the bed from the head to the foot of the bed.
- Three-quarter length- This rail extends about three-quarters of the length of the bed from the head.
- One-half length- This rail is half the length of the bed from the head.
- Quarter length- Extends about a fourth the length of the bed from the head.
- Split rails- A pair of half rails. One extends from the head of the bed to the middle of the bed and the other from the middle of the bed to the foot of the bed with a gap in between for entry.
- Transfer bar- This is a device that is located on one or both sides of the bed to assist patients in and out of bed.
Installing the Bed Rails According to the Invacare Instruction Manual
- Extend one side rail to reach the head end and foot end crossbraces.
- Insert the outer side rail into the barrel of the head end crossbrace.
- Pull and hold the plunger pin on the head end barrel.
- Adjust the bed rail to one of the three positions.
- Release the plunger pin on the head end barrel.
- Raise or lower the bed rail until the plunger knob clicks securely into the lower or upper adjustment hole or until the rail stop firmly rests against the barrel.
- Insert the inner side rail into the barrel of the foot end crossbrace.
- Repeat steps 3-6 for the inner side rail and the foot end crossbrace, adjusting the bed rail to the position determined in step 6.
- Repeat steps 1-8 to install the other bed rail onto the opposite side of the bed.
You can raise or lower the side rails by holding the rail while pulling the plunger knob. Release the plunger knob and raise or lower the rails until you hear the knob click into position or the rail rests securely against the barrel. Once your rail is in the desired position, your installation is complete.
I am a UK based doctor with over 8 years experience in both Medicine and Surgery alongside a background in medical education, teaching from school level up to postgraduate level. I provide medical consultancy to various online services internationally, of which two I am co-founder.
From 2008 to 2010 I created a dual curriculum for a private sixth form college, aimed at 16 to 18 year olds. This included a range of subjects and training for the university application process. In recent years I have continued to assist both UK and US students in their medical school applications alongside my usual clinical work.
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From my time as a teacher at pre-University level and working as a doctor I have accrued many hours of teaching aimed at a variety of levels of understanding. Most importantly, I have over 5 years experience in translating complex medical jargon into easy to understand information for patients and their relatives throughout a number of differing specialties.
Cardiff Medical School 2006 – 2011 MB ChB
Teacher at Cardiff Sixth Form College (2008 -2011)
Hospital Doctor / Senior House Officer for the NHS in multiple hospitals around England and Wales, UK. (2011 – present)