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How Important are Hospital Bed Side Rails?

Views: 28     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-08-25      Origin: Site

How Important are Hospital Bed Side Rails?


Adjustable side rails are often installed on hospital beds. They improve the safety, comfort, and independence of adjustable bed users. Many hospital bed users do not need side rails—which are also called bed guard rails or assist rails. But for some patients, they are a practical and helpful addition to their bed.


In this article, we look at what side rails are and how they work. We discuss some of the ways side rails improve comfort and safety. Finally, we explore the risks associated with side rails and how to minimize them.


Bariatric hospital beds in high position and rails up

One of our hospital beds with full-length side rails.

A side rail is a barrier attached to the side of a bed. The bottom of the rail can be attached to the rigid frame of the bed, although some rails rely on the weight of the mattress to hold them in position. The top of the rail rises above the level of the mattress. Adjustable side rails may include a mechanism or fixture so that the rails can be raised, lowered, or removed.


Side rails can be full-size: as long as the hospital bed. Half-size rails are about half as long as the bed but can be used in pairs if required.


A stainless steel home hospital bed side railing

Close up of a single home hospital bed rail

Bed rails are usually made from metal or rigid plastic. Metal rails may be covered with more comfortable and less slippery material. Bed rail covers add a layer of soft, attractive, and easily-cleaned fabric to the rails.



Using Side Rails Safely

Side rails are a practical addition to a hospital bed, but they can be dangerous in some circumstances. If they are fitted incorrectly or used with the wrong mattress, the bed's occupant can become trapped under the rail. In rare cases, being trapped under a bed rail has proved fatal. When using bed rails, always make sure they are fitted safely and used with a compatible bed and mattress.


Side rails on home hospital beds have many different uses. They can make a home hospital bed safer and easier to use for people with a wide variety of conditions.



Reduce the risk of Falls When Getting Into and Out of Bed

For people with mobility challenges or bodily weakness, getting into an out of home hospital bed can be challenging. It is common for elderly or disabled people to slip or lose their balance when moving on to or off their bed. A home hospital bed rail adds rigid support that people can hold on to when moving to get off the bed, standing up, or climbing onto the bed.



Prevent Patients from Rolling Out of Bed While Asleep

Rolling or jumping out of home hospital bed is another common cause of falls and injury. You might expect that rolling out of bed is rare, but it happens more than you think to seniors and people who take some types of medication.



Provide Support While Changing Position

A bed rail provides support and leverage to help people change positions in home hospital bed, which is why they are sometimes called bed assist rails. People with limited strength may struggle to turn over in bed or change sleeping positions. Staying in the same position is uncomfortable, and it can lead to conditions such as bedsores. A bed rail gives the bed's occupant a rigid surface to hold onto or push against while moving.


Equipment Storage

Finally, bed rails provide a useful area for attaching bed pockets and other storage. They can be used to safely store medical equipment, books and magazines, and other small items the bed's occupant might need.



Maidesite hospital beds can be fitted with half-length rails, and for patients that require more support, we recommend using a pair of half-length rails on each side of the bed.


If you choose to fit your bed with rails, you may also want to consider using side-rail pads, such as our bamboo rail covers, which envelop the rails with a layer of padding to prevent injury and create a more comfortable environment. Side-rail pads are also washable and help to keep bed rails clean.