Bed Handle Recall Reannounced After Three Deaths Linked to Entrapment
Following continuing reports of elderly or disabled individuals becoming entrapped, strangled or killed when portable bed handles are used, federal safety officials are reannouncing a recall that impacted 113,000 bedside bars, many of which may still be in use throughout the U.S.
The portable bed handle recall was highlighted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on September 17, indicating that there has been less than a 1% response rate to a prior recall issued in May 2014.
The agency indicates that at least three deaths have been linked to the bed handles, where women in assisted living homes died after becoming entrapped between the mattress and bed handles.
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About 113,000 portable bed rails are impacted by the recall, which include separate pieces of tubular steel with raised and curved handles that are attached to a standard bed by sliding the poles under the mattress.
The bed handles are designed to create a supportive sleeping environment and assist the user when either entering or exiting the bed. The bed rails are commonly used by the elderly and the disabled living in homes, assisted living centers, and residential care facilities.
The safety risks with the bed handles occur if the rail shifts away from the bed frame, creating a gap between the bed rail and the mattress. The gaps create an entrapment and strangulation hazard to the users which could potentially result in death.
Recalled models include Bed Handles Inc. Original Bedside Assistant with model number BA10W, Travel Handles with model number BA11W, and the Adjustable Bedside Assistant with model number AJ1. The models are made out of ¾ inch tubular steel and measure about 20 inches wide by 16 to 20 inches tall and have 3 foot adjustable poles that extend under the mattress.
The bed handles were manufactured in the United States by Bed Handles Inc., of Blue Springs Missouri where they were sold at home health care stores, drug stores, medical equipment stores and in home and health catalogs nationwide from January 1994 through December 2007 for about $100.
The growing number of injuries and deaths associated with bed rails has raised a great deal of concern as to whether the products should even be available on the market. Consumer watchdog groups, specifically, Public Citizen, have petitioned several agencies to enact a ban on portable bed handles.
In 2012, the CPSC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration opened an investigation to bed handle safety problems, to determine whether the use of bed rails constitute an entrapment and death risk for elderly and disabled citizens. The investigations indicated that at least 150 deaths in recent years have been caused by bed rails and there have been almost 35,000 injuries linked to the use of bed rails since they entered the market.
The CPSC has reissued its notice about the bed rails recall to bring continuing awareness to consumers who may still use the bed rails and have not acted upon the recalls remedy to make the bed rails safer.
Consumers with the recalled bed rails should contact Bed Handles, Inc. at 800-725-6903 or visit them online at http://bedhandles.com/recall.html for information on how to receive free safety retention straps that will not allow the rails to move away from the bed and create dangerous gaps.
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