The FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health issued a Public Health Notification with information on reports of fires involving electrically powered hospital beds since 1993. The notification includes a list of safety tips. The safety tips apply to both electrically powered and manual healthcare beds, and to adjustable medical beds. They may be particularly useful for older model beds.
Safety tips to avoid a hospital bed fire include the following:
- Connect the bed's power cord directly into a wall-mounted outlet.
- Do not connect the bed's power cord to an extension cord or to a multiple outlet strip.
- Visually inspect the bed's power cord for damage.
- Do not cover the bed's power cord or any power cord with a rug or carpet.
- Ensure that appropriate staffs inspect all parts of the bed frame, motor and hardware, mattress, and the floor beneath and near the bed for build-up of dust and lint.
- Test the bed to assure that it moves freely to its full limit in both directions.
- Test the bed's hand and panel control, including the patient lockout features, to assure that the bed is working properly.
- Inspect the covering of the bed's control panel and the patient control panel to assure that the covering is not cracked or damaged.
- Check patient bed occupancy monitors and all other equipment in the patient's room with plug-in power supplies for indications of overheating or physical damage.
- Report to the bed maintenance personnel, any unusual sounds, burning odors, or movement deviations observed in the controls, motors, or the limits switch functions.
- Assure that all manufacturers' recalls, urgent safety notices, etc., have been followed.
If you have been injured in a hospital bed fire, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
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