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Bed Rail Injuries in New York Nursing Homes

Bed Rail Injuries in New York Nursing HomesMany people are surprised to learn that bed rails can be hazardous and, sometimes, life-threatening. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), emergency rooms across the country treated around 36,000 bed rail-related injuries between 2003 and 2011. Additionally, between 2003 to 2013, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recorded 155 deaths because of a dangerous bed rail position. A significant cause of these injuries and fatalities in New York nursing homes is nursing home staff misusing bed rails while neglecting to provide the care and supervision residents require.

Suppose your loved one was injured or died because of a bed rail injury in a New York nursing home. In that case, you may be able to recover compensation from the liable nursing home with the help of a skilled New York nursing home neglect lawyer at Dalli & Marino, LLP

Bed rail injuries can occur in New York nursing homes, but there are ways to reduce these instances from happening to you or your loved ones. 

Why Are Bed Rails Used in New York Nursing Homes?

Nursing homes and hospitals frequently use bed rails, also known as side rails, which are typically collapsible, metal rails that hang on both sides of a resident’s bed. 

Nursing homes throughout New York use them for a few reasons, including:

  • Fall prevention: Bed rails can help prevent a resident from falling out of bed while sleeping and injuring themselves.
  • Added support: They can also be used to support residents getting in and out of bed or adjusting their bodies while in bed.

Bed rails are not suitable for everyone and should be avoided if residents are disoriented or frail. However, they can be convenient and relatively secure when used correctly with the right bed for residents who have some physical strength to use it effectively.

Why Are Nursing Home Residents at Risk of Bed Rail Injuries?

Nursing home residents are most commonly injured by bed rails when they get wedged between the bed rail itself and the bed’s mattress. When various medications sedate nursing home residents, they may become weaker than other elderly persons. 

In a situation where they sink into the gap between the bed rail and their mattress, they may not be strong enough to pull their bodies out of that space. In tragic cases, their body weight causes them to sink further down between the bed rail and the mattress, putting pressure on their chest and making it harder to breathe, leading to death or severe injuries.

When residents become entrapped, they may suffer the following injuries: 

  • Asphyxiation: Caused by the chest being constricted or when the face is pushing up against the mattress. 
  • Cardiac arrest: Caused by the chest becoming compressed and stressed breathing when residents attempt to pull themselves out from the gap between the bed rail and the mattress. 
  • Head or neck injury: Occurs when a resident’s head is caught within the bed rail itself.
  • Bruising or cuts: Caused when a resident’s legs or arms become stuck by the bed rail.

Other times, bed rail injuries may occur when residents become disoriented and attempt to crawl over the bed rails and the side of the bed. When residents fall from bed at an elevated height, it can result in painful fractures and other types of injuries. 

Preventing Bed Rail Injuries from Occurring in New York Nursing Homes 

Bed rails should never be used as a restraint to keep residents in bed, nor should they ever be a replacement for proper monitoring. They are meant to be assistive devices to help facilitate movement and mobility for residents who need assistance getting in and out of bed and repositioning in bed to prevent bedsores.

To ensure that your family members living in New York nursing homes are safe, always check out the bed and the bed rails when visiting them. Double-check that it’s safe by ensuring that it fits properly and there is no gap between the bed rail and the mattress when pushing the mattress to one side or the other. If you can stick at least four fingers between the mattress and the bed rail, it is unsafe.

When purchasing a bed rail for home use, it is essential to research and read any warnings or bad reviews. Even when bed rails are sold together with a mattress, it may not always be the safest and most secure match.

Retain New York’s Skilled Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys Fighting for Victims of Bed Rail Injuries 

If your elderly loved one was injured or death occurred because of an unsafe bed rail used at a New York nursing home, contact Dalli & Marino as soon as possible. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers have represented and fought for the rights of clients who have suffered from nursing home neglect for over 20 years. Our attorneys have years of insight and experience representing clients in bed rail injury and wrongful death cases throughout New York, recovering millions of dollars for victims and their families.

Let Dalli & Marino help you achieve justice against the nursing home facilities that have harmed you and your family. Talk to a seasoned nursing home neglect lawyer about your bedrail injury or wrongful death case for free today. To schedule your free consultation, complete our contact form or call 888-465-8790.