We are updating our beds and are possibly adding an assessment to be sure our residents are not at risk for entrapment. Do you have any guidelines for bed recommendations?

Doing a patient assessment just on admission will not suffice. I recommend doing it quarterly and upon significant changes in condition. It doesn’t matter if the rails are gone, as there are other ways people become entrapped.

Remember to have your team involved — don’t think that you alone should be making these decisions. I would recommend a team involving the medical director, social work, administrator, director of nursing, nurse aides, registered nurses, activities, dietary and environmental services.

I am listing some of the tools I feel are the most helpful. (I am not paid or consulting for any of them.) These guidelines are NOT the law, and remember your state’s law will supersede any recommendations from individual companies. Bionix has an entire assessment form to use when you are assessing an elder (https://bit.ly/2MWjnaD), and Direct Supply also has an entire entrapment guide (https://bit.ly/2wc4ppO).

The FDA website contains the final guidance issued on March 10, 2006, historical sentinel event and safety alerts, and other useful information.

There is also the Guide for Modifying Bed Systems and Using Accessories to Reduce the Risk of Entrapment (https://bit.ly/2MouVqG) and page 15 of this document details dimensional limits for identified entrapment zones (https://bit.ly/2vYI7IX).

The National Patient Safety Center, a part of the Veterans Affairs Healthcare Network, also has a very comprehensive website, including Powerpoints, educational documents and mitigation tips (https://bit.ly/2nLqLuk).

Please send your resident care-related questions to Sherrie Dornberger at ltcnews@mcknights.com.