Preventing falls from low beds

  1. i have a question regarding the use of pads or mattresses on the floor next to low beds. our facility does not use any kind of pad next to low beds which are only about 10 inches from the floor. we found that by using them more falls and accidents happen, especially to wondering residents who do not see the mat on the floor and then trip over it and staff tripping over them when going to give care. i just want to know if other facilities use them or not. the only time i would think they would be needed if the resident was a constant faller even with a low bed
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    About BoopetteRN

    Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 71; Likes: 24
    I am the in-service director in a 304 bed long term care facility(county nursing home). I am also DON for an agency
    Specialty: LTC since 1972, team leader, supervisor,


  3. by   PAERRN20
    I work in a hospital and we don't use them. We lower the bed to the lowest position and use a bed exit alarm as well. I can see how confused patients as well as oriented patients can trip on them. Also they can slide out from underneath you, causing a fall.
  4. by   oramar
    Where I worked we found people were constantly moving them out of the way to use wheel chairs, carts and portable xray machine. They would never get put back and then we would have toe explain why they were not in place when the patient fell. What they really needs is soft floors made out of that stuff they put down on children's play grounds.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    I can't begin to count the number of times I've tripped over those miserable mats, causing me to land right smack in the middle of a resident's bed on one memorable occasion (she still teases me about it) or wrench something out of place trying to catch myself from falling. But I'd rather have a frequent faller roll OOB and land on two inches of vinyl-covered foam than that cold, I'll just have to take my chances.
  6. by   NotFlo
    We use them but I agree they are generally more of a pain in the butt than anything. Staff trips on them all the time, they constantly have to be moved out of the way, and for certain patients I think they're more dangerous than having nothing.
  7. by   travel50
    We use them, but not on residents that will get up and walk around. As you noted, that is a fall hazard. We only use them for residents who are prone to simply falling out of bed...those who will try to get up and really can't. We only leave them in place when the resident is in bed, for an afternoon nap and at nite. I would much prefer the stuff they put on playgrounds, but there is no money for that.
  8. by   nightmare
    We have ,occasionally put the base and mattress on the floor to guard against fallers but even then we had one who got carpet burns rolling about on the floor.Now we lower to lowest position and use bed alarms.
  9. by   BEDPAN76
    We use many "low beds with mats". And whenever a resident "transfers " themselves to the mat, it counts as a FALL! It is the "one surface to another surface" rule. At least there are no injuries.....
  10. by   CapeCodMermaid
    We use alarmed mats as a last resort and usually only in a private room or in a room where the other resident is non-ambulatory.
  11. by   LHH1996
    Yes i agree with the above..we only use them on residents that do not have risk of getting up and tripping over it, or sliding etc..usually they are used for residents (who may be in a low bed) but could possibly roll out and be injured.
    you have to be careful because even the roomate or vistors can trip over them..even staff for that matter...
  12. by   BoopetteRN
    I agree, a frequent faller needs to be protected, and I know that I am not the most graceful person and try to pay attention to the pads on the floor. My biggest worry are the wondering residents who because of poor vision and do not watch where they are walking trip on these pads.
  13. by   achot chavi
    floor mats we use rarely. prefer low beds as fewer problems with low beds. Endorse frequent round by staff. BTW we hate the alarms, wakes everyone up!!!
    Nurses that trip on them should take care to open the lights when entering rooms, will be easier to see...
  14. by   Dixiecup
    In missouri it's a state regulation that you MUST use a mat if a pt is in a low bed. We found some smaller, less cumbersome ones that aren't quite as bad though.