Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa
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Bed Sticks and Bed Levers

Kia ora members,

The OT Board of NZ were recently contacted by the Coroner’s office about the use of bed sticks or bed levers. While we know most of you already understand the risks associated with using these tools, we want to make sure that everyone understands this risk.

Bed sticks/poles and rails have been used where people receive care in cases of injury risk, impaired mobility, nocturia, incontinence, sleep disturbances and mental health issues (Rollins, 2013).

Bed sticks/levers/poles pose a risk of injury or death. To promote public safety, occupational therapists involved in the recommendation and provision of bed sticks/poles should implement appropriate risk assessment and mitigation. These links may help with understanding employer/practitioner responsibilities in these situations, and the Occupational Therapy Australia’s statement provides useful information.