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Hi, I'm Heather, an attorney with 15 years experience and I'd like to assist for informational purposes.
I'm not sure where the RN is getting the idea that the issue with bed rails is "fire hazard." It is my understanding that the bed rails are discouraged, because while they can decrease the incident of falls, if a person does fall, the risk of injury is greater, because of the way the person can fall and squeeze into the gap between the bed and the rail, and getting wedged in there, and/or having one end of their body held up, while the other end, possibly the head, falls and takes the entire force of the fall.
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In AZ, physical restraints such as bed rails may only be used as ordered by a physician to treat a patient or to protect the safety of the patient or the safety of others. So if your mother in law needs them, she may want to get a doctor's order.