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Keywords:

  • hospital-bed entrapment;
  • hospital-bed systems;
  • patient safety;
  • risk assessment

Despite the long history of hospital-bed use, only in the past decade have bed-related patient-safety hazards, including falls and life-threatening entrapment, been discussed publicly. Entrapment is an event in which a patient is caught, trapped, or entangled in hospital-bed components, including the bed rail, mattress, or hospital-bed frame. Since 1995, the Food and Drug Administration and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations have issued patient-safety alerts about entrapment. While new beds are being manufactured without large gaps that would allow an individual's head, neck, or chest to become entrapped, it is incumbent upon healthcare providers, including rehabilitation nurses, to ensure the safety of older beds in use. This article describes a facility-based approach for identifying and managing risk related to hospital bed-entrapment to be used in rehabilitation settings.