Bed rails, while extensively used to reduce the risk of bed occupants falling out of bed and injuring themselves, have also resulted in adverse incidents, including injury and death. Therefore, adequate risk assessments and management are required to mitigate the risk and to carefully consider the benefits versus the risks.
Most reported injuries relating to bed rails are from incidents that take place in community settings.
Use of bed rails in the community comes with additional challenges. There may be greater variability in available equipment, and it can be more difficult to maintain equipment appropriately than in a hospital setting. Those responsible for day-to-day care may be less aware of the serious risk that can be present with improper use of bed rails. Any subsequent changes in the client situation and the associated risks may mean greater chance of inappropriate bed rail use.