The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to stop using 10 specific models of adult portable bed rails after reports of three deaths between 2006 and 2013. According to an NPR news report, the faulty adult bed rails, which are installed on the side of the beds to facilitate mobility and reduce the risk of falling, are advertised as safety devices for elderly people or those with medical conditions.
Risk of Faulty Adult Bed Rails
However, they can also pose a danger by creating a risk of entrapment that could lead to serious injury or even death. Several companies have recalled thousands of units in recent months citing the risk of asphyxia and reports of deaths. The CPSC is warning the public to stop using 285,000 bed rails that were manufactured and sold by two companies: Mobility Transfer Systems, Inc. between 1992 and 2021, and Metal Tubing USA Inc. in 2021 and 2022.
The bed rails were sold by online retailers including Walmart.com, Amazon.com, MTSMedicalSupply.com, VitalityMedical.com, and Alimed.com. Other sites like eBay also sold the bed rails second-hand or used. CPSC said at least three people died after becoming entrapped in one model of the bed rails including three elderly people in Michigan, Oklahoma, and California – all vulnerable individuals living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Deaths and Injuries
CPSC evaluated the bed rails and found that people can become trapped between the bed rail and the mattress within portions of the bed rail itself, leading to asphyxia. The agency is urging consumers to immediately stop using the bed rails, disassemble and throw away the devices, and to report any related incidents online.
The FDA said it received reports of seven deaths associated with portable bed rails between 2005 and 2013. It also tracked 901 incidents of patients being caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in hospital beds, including 531 deaths between 1985 and 2013. Meanwhile, CPSC reviewed 260 incidents of which 247 were fatal involving adult portable bed rails between January 2013 and December 2019. The agency also estimates that about 196,848 people were injured by adult portable bed rails between 2003 and 2019.
If you or a loved one has been injured using these or other products, it is important that you reach out to an experienced product defect lawyer to better understand your legal rights and options. Victims may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering while families that lose loved ones may be able to seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.