Warn­ing af­fects some lo­cal hospi­tal beds

The Southern Gazette - - NEWS - BY BARB SWEET TC ME­DIA

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

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