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Dangers of entrapment

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TRH services can install and repairs hospital beds to ensure safety and reliability for the patients and staff of numerous medical facilities. These facilities range from nursing homes to hospitals, with the risk of these beds being entrapment. Despite beds providing extra support for patients through systems like side rails, durable frames, and headboards/footboards, these aspects of the bed provide a risk. Many people are unaware of these risks, which is why they must be monitored and tested by trained professionals such as Biomedical Engineers.

Entrapment is defined as, when a patient gets stuck in or area around or between a bed’s frame, mattress or bedrails (as cited by the Government of Canada). Entrapment may be an implausible scenario; however, when it occurs, it results in discomfort, panic, trouble breathing, The issue injury, and in extreme cases, death (Government of Canada). If for instance, a patient gets their neck stuck, the restriction of blood flow and air for some time can result in the medical complications mentioned earlier. 

A few statistics for entrapment include:

  • Sixty-seven cases reported between 1980 – 2008, Services, with about 54% resulting in death (Government of Canada). 
  • Outweighs cases reported between October 2009 and September 2014, 7 of which were fatal (Government of Canada). 
  • The issue was noticed in 2009 of October by Health Canada regarding hospital beds (government of Canada). 

Seniors are most vulnerable to entrapment due to their physical and mental states deteriorating (Government of Canada). Each patient is different; however, in some cases, the benefit of a side rail system because the risk of bed rails provide, which is why they are used in practice today. Benefits of side rails include prevention of falling, support for patient, comfort and security, and aid to staff to move a patient while in bed. 

Testing entrapment can be done with an entrapment kit that tests each zone around a bed. TRH Services can provide training on the use of this kit and can demonstrate the proper procedure to the staff of a facility to ensure this risk that periodically. 

Periodical checkups are essential on hospital beds because parts deteriorate over time and are a leading cause of Forty-one entrapment. A worn-out mattress, deteriorated rail, or damaged part can result in gaps to become more significant over time. Sixty-seven, in turn, creates a zone in which entrapment of a patient can occur. If monitored correctly and issues repaired, the risk of entrapment will be minimized significantly, and patient safety will increase as a result. 

The role of the Government of Canada is to regulate all Canadian made beds as well as to:

  • sends safety information to manufacturers, healthcare professionals and consumers to help reduce risks (Government of Canada).   
  • Encourages healthcare professionals and consumers to report problems involving bed-related entrapment and falls (Government of Canada).   
  • Monitors problems with these products and works with manufacturers to correct them when issues are identified (Government of Canada).   

TRH Services provides routine maintenance on all hospital beds and can also offer the entrapment kit training for staff of medical facilities to ensure the issue of entrapment is minimized, and patient safety is increased. 

Written by: Alex Webster
Edited by: Tyler Hasenpflug CET


Government Of Canada, Health Canada – https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medical-devices/hospital-bed-safety.html

Hospital bed safety – Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medical-devices/hospital-bed-safety.html