There was a call light on in my particular hall one night, and it was about supper time. Lots of routine requests this time of night, nothing usually too serious. By the time I fought my way down to that end of the hall, something bad was happening, I just didn't know it yet. Our beds were the old 3 cranks at the end of the bed type, and they were too high to put food in front of a patient without dropping a siderail. Everyone did it, and nothing had ever happened. I remember clipping the call light to her pillow when I set her up for dinner earlier. When I got back in the room, she was sitting on the floor with the call light cable all the way around her neck, face pointed upward, and purple. I thought she was dead, or pretty close. I quickly tore the call light out of the wall and put her back into bed by myself (I was pretty strong back then). She immediately started breathing again, and her color returned to normal. It was at that point that I decided that I had to get out of long-term care. I just happened to be walking in the parking lot and one of my associates was transferring to the hospital, i said "take me with you". 2 weeks later, I was out of there.
Never never never leave the cock-a-doody siderail down!
I'm sorry, but there had to be something else you could have done.
I know I sound harsh, but that patient obviously needed siderails for a reason... so then you elevate the head of the bed and lower the siderail??? Tell me that's not an accident waiting to happen?!
COMMON SENSE is the key.
Just because "nothing ever happened" before doen't mean it won't. It will, and god forbid it happen on your watch.
I know bedrails and bed tables don't always jibe together: slide the table through the rail, ajust the height of the whole bed, get the patient out of bed for the meal... STAY with the patient... anything... but don't leave your patients vulnerable!
Tell me, am I wrong to be annoyed by this post?