The use of bed rails: principles of patient assessment
Vivien Everitt Staff Nurse/Research Sister
Jane Bridel-Nixon Head of Nursing Research and Development, St James's and Seacroft University Hospitals, Leeds
Bed rails are often used to prevent patients from injuring themselves through falling, but they may not always have the desired effect. In this literature review, the authors demonstrate that patients must be assessed in relation to clearly defined risk factors to prevent indiscriminate use of bed rails
The use of bed rails is frequently debated by nurses and other healthcare professionals, particularly in relation to patient restraint and injuries associated with their use. In some cases the use of bed rails does maintain patient safety effectively, but in other circumstances they can increase the risk of injury.
Nursing Standard. 12, 6, 44-47. doi: 10.7748/ns.12.6.44.s49