Are extension height side rails really needed?

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When the BS EN 60601-2-52:2010 bed rail regulations were updated in 2013, they became a popular topic of conversation, that even in recent months has been a talking point in the healthcare sector. The impact of the updated regulations affect almost all of us every day because they are important and, in some instances, quite literally the difference between life and death. But, why do we seriously even need extension side rails?

It’s a fact. Full replacement alternating pressure mattresses don't comply with bed rail regulations when fitted onto the majority of care beds in the marketplace. Common sense seems to be a bystander as manufacturers have been recommending makeshift bolted on extension side rails for these inadequate beds. A lack of innovation in the care equipment industry has resulted in temporary solutions to what is, in all likelihood, going to be a issue that will linger into the future.

As a manufacturer, we have taken a step back and asked ourselves, ‘why do we even need extension side rails?’ Our product developers saw it as counter-productive to add additional equipment to the beds, which in itself requires frequent risk assessments and safety checks. Surely the very purpose of integral side rails is to: reduce risk; increase accessibility; and provide ease of use. We kept this in mind when developing the latest beds in our Opera® range, and the new Opera® ProSafe can now take up to a 10 mattress without the need for extension side rails.

With our flagship Opera® ProSafe Profiling Bed, the need for extension side rails is finally over. Common sense prevails: reducing risks; reducing workloads; reducing liability; and reducing associated costs.

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