This article explores the use of side rails within the context of physical restraint in gerontological practice. It is debated that side rails can be considered as a form of physical restraint if the individual cannot voluntarily remove/lower the device if he/she wishes to do so. The value of side rails as a protective medium is debated with regard to their association with injuries sustained as a result. Side rails should be used with caution and within a risk management context. Frailty should not be an indicator for the use of side rails, an individualized approach to determine patient's suitability to side rails is advocated.
Gallinagh, R., Slevin, E., & McCormack, B. (2002). Side rails as physical restraints in the care of older people: a management issue. Journal of Nursing Management, 10(5), 299-306. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2834.2002.00319.x