September, 2000

Information Bulletin 00-28
NH-52
HOSP-22
HC-8
ICF/MR-11
ASC-5
HOSPICE-6
SLF-5
HWS-6
BC-11

Urgent Safety Alert
Plastic Waste Basket Liners

Purpose:

The purpose of this bulletin is to alert health care facilities to a potential danger for patients/residents who may fall from bed or otherwise come in contact with waste baskets.

The Office of Health Facility Complaints has recently investigated two deaths of residents in nursing homes who have apparently fallen from bed and were found to have suffocated in the plastic liner of a waste basket. In each case, the resident's head had come in contact with the basket and the resident asphyxiated after the liner covered his/her face.

It is recommended that wastebaskets be located away from patient/resident beds, or that paper liners, rather than plastic, be used in the containers.

If you have any questions regarding this Information Bulletin, please contact in writing:

Minnesota Department of Health
Compliance Monitoring Division
Licensing and Certification Program
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 300
PO Box 64900
St. Paul, MN 55164-0900
Telephone: (651) 201-4101

Updated Friday, 25-Mar-2011 14:38:16 CDT