Portable Bed Handles Recalled Again Over Entrapment Risk

Portable Bed Handles Recalled Again Over Entrapment Risk

Bed Handle Recall Lawsuit

Simple tasks that most people take for granted, such as getting up and out of bed, can be a herculean task for someone who has little to no energy.

Bed handles (or bed rails) are simple U-shaped metal bars that are placed on the sides of a bed. These handles make it easier for many infirm people to pull themselves up and out of bed. That being said, these handles have been the source of controversy as well as a number of deaths in many nursing homes across the country.

Back in 2011, citizen.org brought to the attention of the government (and the Federal Trade Commission) the dangers of unsecured bed handles after a number of adults were trapped in the space between the mattress and handles, leading to their untimely demise.

CSPC Issues Bed Handles Recall

In May of 2014, the Consumer Safety Product Commission (CPSC) issued a recall of more than 100,000 portable bed handles after they were implicated in the deaths of four people. In their statement, they said that the handles, when attached to an adult’s bed without safety retention straps, have the tendency to move out of place. This, in turn, creates a gap between the mattress and the bed handle, posing a serious risk of entrapment, asphyxiation or strangulation, and death.

In September of 2015, the CPSC re-announced the recall after reports of an additional death and due to the fact that the original recall only resulted in a 1% response rate.

Bed Handles Inc. is the manufacturer involved in this recall, and it produced these handles between 1994 and 2007. They were sold for an average of $100 at equipment stores, drug stores and health-care stores countrywide during these 13 years, and include models such as Travel Handles ™, Original Bedside Assistant ™, and the Adjustable Bedside Assistant ™.

According to a memorandum released by the Consumer Safety Product Commission in October 2012, portable bed rails used between January 2003 and September 2012 caused the injuries of 160 people as well as led to the death of 155 others.

The memorandum shared some startling statistics regarding entrapment:

  • 93% of all fatalities were directly caused by entrapment
  • 83% of all victims were 60 and older
  • There were more than 36,000 injuries that were caused by these devices and they were treated at emergency rooms all over the country.

Entrapment injuries caused by bed handles may result in the following:

  • Strangulation or suffocation when a person’s neck gets caught in the space between the handle and mattress.
  • Agitation which may lead to the increased risk of self-harm by confused and frustrated individuals
  • Falls due to disorientation
  • Injuries such as fractures, bruising and bleeding
  • Death

The company’s president has said that there are currently more than a hundred thousand of these devices being currently used. As the recall currently has a paltry 1% response rate, this means that thousands of consumers are still at risk of serious injury or death.

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