Warning affects some local hospital beds
Eastern Health has confirmed it has 15 hospital beds involved in a warning from Health Canada.
Earlier last week, The Canadian Press reported Health Canada is warning hospitals and other health care facilities about the risk some beds pose for patient entrapment after three people died and several were injured.
In a notice to hospitals issued Aug. 13, the health agency said 12 incidents have been reported of patients becoming trapped in hospital beds since 2009, including three deaths.
Four similar deaths were reported between 2007 and 2009.
The notice said unprotected side rails and unfitted mattresses are the main hazards for patients. Beds manufactured before the year 2000 are identified as being particularly problematic.
Eight out of the 12 cases of injury and death occurred in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Three incidents happened in hospitals and one at a person’s home.
Health Canada said in one incident, a patient became trapped in the opening between the split side rails of a Stryker Model FL14E1 long-term care electric bed, which is no longer manufactured but is still in use.
A spokeswoman for Eastern Health told The Telegram Wednesday the authority has checked its inventory, and confirms 15 of those beds are in use at some of its facilities.
The Eastern Health spokeswoman said after the authority became aware of the safety information update from Health Canada involving the particular long-term care electric bed model, it consulted with the manufacturer.
“It should be noted as part of Eastern Health’s scheduled equipment replacement program, these beds are slated for replacement in 2013. However, should it be determined by the manufacturer that these beds pose a serious threat to an individual, Eastern Health will immediately replace these beds,” she wrote via email.
Eastern Health said there were three minor injuries involving hospital beds in general during the fiscal year ending in March, but none had anything to do with how the bed functioned. Rather, they were was due to patients’ scraping or bumping themselves while getting in and out of the beds.
The agency advised health care facilities that still use beds made before 2000 to contact manufacturers for advice on reducing entrapment hazards, including using covers to fit over the gaps between rails and ensuring that replacement mattresses are the correct size for the bed frame.
Eastern Health said the majority of its hospital beds were manufactured after 2000 and each resident admitted to long-term care is assessed and provided with the most appropriate bed and mattress.
St. John’s Telegram