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Government Recalls Bed Rails After Reported Deaths
By Bill Hogan, May 20, 2014 03:08 PM
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the voluntary recall of more than 100,000 adult bed rails that it says can pose a serious risk of entrapment, strangulation and death.
When attached to an adult's bed without the use of safety retention straps, the portable bed handles - sold by Bed Handles Inc., of Blue Springs, Mo., from 1994 to 2007 - can shift out of place, creating a dangerous gap between the handle and the edge of the mattress.
The CPSC says that at least three people died after becoming entrapped between the mattress and the bed handles, which are intended to assist adults with getting in and out of bed by giving them a bar to grip.
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"These deaths are happening in people's homes," the CPSC's Scott Wolfson told reporters. "We really need parents, caregivers to know that these older consumers can roll into this gap and they cannot free themselves."
Over the past 10 years, the agency has received reports of nearly 175 deaths related to portable bed rails for adults; separately, the Food and Drug Administration received reports of 531 deaths related to bed rails used on hospital beds, from January 1985 to January 2013. In addition, some 39,600 injuries related to portable bed rails for adults were treated in hospital emergency departments from 2003 to 2012. Most of these deaths and injuries occurred with people 60 and older.
The recalled handles, which are made out of 3/4-inch tubular steel, include Original Bedside Assistant (Model No. BA10W); Travel Handles (BA11W), sold as a set of two bed handles; and Adjustable Bedside Assistant (AJ1).
The bed handles were sold by home health care stores, drug stores and medical equipment stores nationwide, and in home and health care catalogs for about $100.
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The CPSC says that consumers should immediately stop using all recalled bed handles that were sold without safety retention straps and contact Bed Handles Inc. at (800) 725-6903 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or online at http://bedhandles.com/recall.html.
Meanwhile, the CPSC also unveiled a " Senior Safety Initiative."
"Despite having always been acknowledged in our regulations, seniors are a group that has been overlooked for too long," Robert S. Adler, the agency's acting chairman, said in announcing the initiative. "While the CPSC will never take its focus away from protecting the public from unreasonable risks associated with consumer products at our ports and retail stores and in our homes and schools, part of that focus will now always include seniors."
Photo: Consumer Product Safety Commission
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