Half A Million Portable Bed Rails Recalled After Deaths, Entrapment Reports

Design allows sleepers to become trapped between the rail and the mattress, CPSC warns

Following reports of at least two deaths, federal health officials are urging consumers to stop using nearly 500,000 portable bed rails, which may pose an entrapment and suffocation hazard.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare bed rails recall on December 6, warning that design problems may allow a user to become pinned between the mattress and the bed rail, increasing the risk of death, entrapment and suffocation if they roll off the bed.

The bedside rails are portable and feature separate pieces that can be attached to a standard bed, by sliding a piece of rail under the mattress. They are intended to help adults get out of bed, but the CPSC warns that they actually pose a serious hazard if left in place while sleeping, potentially causing individuals to become trapped between the metal bar and the mattress while sleeping, or between parts of the bedrail itself.

The CPSC has become aware of two reports of entrapment deaths linked to the Bed Assist Handle bed rails, which occurred in 2011 and 2015, involving a 93-year-old woman at her home and 92-year-old man at an assisted living facility in Canada. The CPSC indicates both fatalities were caused by the bed rails not being securely fastened to the bed, allowing the users to become entrapped between the rails and mattress.

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The recall involves approximately 496,100 Bed Assist Handles with model number 15064, Bed Assist Rail with Folding Board with model number 15062, Home Bed Assist Handle with model number RTL15073, and Home Bed Assist Handles with model number RTL15063-ADJ.

The products are made of steel tubing either in white or chrome and include either a black non-slip padding on the grip handle and under-bed frame or a wooden under-bed board attached to the grip handle. Customers may identify whether their bed rail products are recalled by locating the model number printed next to the brand name Drive on a label located on the product metal tubing.

The recalled bed rails were manufactured by Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare and were sold at medical supply stores nationwide and online at www.amazon.com and www.walmart.com from October 2007 through December 2021 for between $30 and $80. Approximately 68,000 units were also distributed for sale in Canada and Mexico.

Consumers, hospitals and nursing home facilities are being asked to stop using the recalled bed rails immediately and to contact Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare at 877-467-3099 and reference the recall number 22-025 to receive a full refund.

Bed Rail Safety Concerns

Bed rail safety has been a focus of federal regulators for years, seeking to address issues that 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.

The devices are often used in nursing homes to aide with residents who have trouble getting into, and out of, bed. They are also frequently used in home care situations where an elderly or disabled person is being cared for at home. A 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.

In December 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning problems with similar portable bed rail products, which were linked to a risk of entrapment. An investigation by the FDA and CPSC revealed there had been at least 155 deaths and five injuries linked to the use of portable bed rails between January 2003 and September 2012.

Earlier this year, the CPSC issued a bed rail warning, instructing consumers to stop using three models of Bed Handles Inc., portable adult bed rail products indicating after receiving four bed rail fatalities involving elderly or disabled individuals.

The agency warned that because Bed Handles Inc., is no longer in business, no recall remedy is available for owners. Rather, customers should immediately stop using and discard the Bed Handles Inc. products to prevent this risk of entrapment and asphyxiation.


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