Our Michigan nursing home lawyers handle cases involving bed rail entrapment injuries.

While bed rails may help prevent falls from a bed, they also present a potential danger to a nursing home resident. The facility and staff must carefully weigh the risk and benefits of this device.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that bed entrapment injuries are disturbingly frequent.

Between Jan. 1, 1985 and Jan. 1, 2008, the FDA received 772 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in hospital beds. The reports included 460 deaths, 136 nonfatal injuries, and 176 cases where staff needed to intervene to prevent injuries. Most patients were frail, elderly, or confused.

If your loved one was injured or died due to the neglect of nursing home staff, call a compassionate Michigan lawyer to discuss your legal options.

A skilled attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. will explain your options and help you to pursue compensation.

Risks of Bed Rails

Due to the physical condition of many nursing home residents, being entangled or trapped within a bed rail may lead to severe and even fatal injuries. According to the FDA, potential risks include:

  • Skin bruising, cuts, and scrapes.
  • Preventing patients, who are able to get out of bed, from performing routine activities such as going to the bathroom or retrieving something from a closet.
  • Feeling isolated or unnecessarily restricted.
  • Inducing agitated behavior when bed rails are used as a restraint.
  • Bodily injury.
  • More serious injuries from falls when patients climb over rails.
  • Suffocating.
  • Strangling.
  • Death.

Proper use of Bed Rails

There are recommended bed rail guidelines for hospital and nursing homes.

When bed rails are used, it is essential that the medical staff perform an on-going assessment of the patient’s physical and mental status.  They must closely monitor high-risk patients.

The facility should also consider lowering one or more sections of the bed rail, such as the foot rail. This helps reduce the gaps between the mattress and the side rails.

It is recommended that the facility should use a proper size mattress or mattress with raised foam edges to prevent patients from being trapped between the mattress and rail.

Entrapment Injuries and Deaths

Bed rail injuries and deaths are preventable with proper safety measures. Unfortunately, there are many bed rail injuries due to the negligence of a nursing home facility or its staff.

The most common causes of bed rail entrapment include:

  • Improper sizing of the mattress used on the bed.
  • Space gaps between the mattress and the bed rail.
  • Improper rails used on a specific bed.
  • Negligence in supervising and monitoring a resident.

Residents harmed by bed rails, and their families, do have legal rights against skilled nursing care facilities.

Michigan Bed Rail Entrapment Settlement Example

An 87-year-old nursing home resident was found with her head wedged between her mattress and a bed rail.

The bed rail was approved for use on her bed. However, the gap between the mattress and the bed rail created a risk for entrapment.

The cause of death was determined as asphyxiation. A negligence lawsuit was filed by her family against the facility. Prior to trial, the case settled for $375,000.00.

Filing a Michigan Bed Rail Entrapment Lawsuit

Bed rail entrapment is a basis for suing a nursing home or skilled nursing facility.

To win a settlement, it must be proven that the facility was negligent in caring for and supervising the resident. However, it is known that this type of injury is completely preventable.

These incidents cause serious injuries and are the result of neglect. A resident injured by a rail can file a nursing home negligence lawsuit.

Lawsuits seek settlements for the pain and suffering of the resident due to the entrapment injuries. Medical expenses are also included in the settlement.

When a rail entrapment results in death, the family members should file a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit. These cases demand compensation for the loss of the loved one by the family.

In addition, compensation is demanded for the suffering of the resident from the time of the incident until death.  Because these deaths are usually by asphyxiation, the suffering is substantial.

Call a Michigan Nursing Home Bed Rail Entrapment Lawyer

If your loved one was harmed in a Michigan nursing home after a rail entrapment incident, you may be overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. However, if the negligence of the nursing home’s staff caused the injury, you have a legal right to pursue a civil lawsuit.

For help with filing a claim, reach out to our experienced Michigan lawyers. We have the skill, experience, and expertise to win your case.

To discuss your legal options, call today. We charge no legal fees unless you win a settlement.

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