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Effects of Bed Height On the Biomechanics of Hospital Bed Entry and Egress

Merryweather AS, et al. | Journal of WORK | 2015

A clinician provides support for a patient trying to sit upright.

A large percentage of patient falls in hospitals occur near the bed, and yet little is known about the impact of bed height to fall risk. This study compared joint torques and angles during bed entry and egress at two heights. Twelve elderly adults (>55 year-old) with various ailments were selected who also had variety of strength and mobility limitations. Results show that at low bed height (38 cm), hip torque for bed entry was significantly higher, and hip, knee, and ankle flexion angles were significantly smaller. A full 50% of participants were unable to get out of the low bed without assistance. The authors conclude that low bed heights, which were were designed for the elderly with a high falling risk, pose safety risks for that population.

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Care Settings: Acute Care

Clinical Focus: Fall Prevention

Content Type: Journal Articles

Reference: Merryweather AS, Morse JM, Doig AK, Godfrey NW, Gervais P, Bloswick DS. Effects of bed height on the biomechanics of hospital bed entry and egress. Journal of WORK. 2015: 1-7.