A study by NCBI showed that despite the popularity of bed exit alarms for dementia patients, there was no significant statistical evidence to vouch for their efficacy. Other than they being expensive, they did not contribute that much in preventing accidents, injuries and fatalities related to bed falls. The study therefore claimed that there was no need to buy them.
Patient falls from bed in hospitals as well as caregiver homes has been shown to cause at least 450 deaths every year and a lot of critical injuries according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The risk is even higher in demented residents who are more likely to get out of bed and wander away without supervision.
Ausmed recommended the following alternatives to bed alarms:
- Labeling of residents as high risk for those who are known to mostly fall from the bed.
- Installation of alternative safety mechanisms such as bed rails where the patient has to call for the caregiver to let them out of bed.
- Ensuring that there are no obstacles between the bed and the bathroom which might causing the patient stumbling and falling.
- Ensuring that items such as canes and clutches are next to the patient so that they can easily get out of bed and reach them with ease.
- Making sure that bed casters are in lock position and the floor is dry and not littered with anything that might cause an accident.
- Installing bed rails for safety of the patient
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