In most cases, the use of bed rails adds safety by preventing patients from falling out of bed. Although bed rails may be appropriate in many situations, in some cases, they may endanger patients — especially those who are older, frail, or confused. In the last decade, hundreds of people have been seriously injured or killed when they became entrapped and suffocated between a bed rail and a mattress or a bed frame.
Do I Have a Bed Rail Injury Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has been injured by a bed rail, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a bed rail injury lawsuit.
UPDATE: Bed Handles Recalled After 3 Deaths
May 20, 2014 — The CPSC has announced a recall for 113,000 bed handles after they were linked to three deaths. The recall comes almost exactly three years after the consumer-advocacy group Public Citizen called for a ban on these bed handles, citing four deaths. Click here to read more.
What is the problem?
Bed rails are adjustable metal or plastic bars that are placed on hospital beds and in nursing homes to help patients pull themselves up and get out of bed. They are also used to prevent people from rolling out of bed.
Unfortunately, some patients can be trapped between bed rails and a mattress, which can cause severe injury or even death. Patients who are elderly, frail, or confused are most likely to become caught, trapped, entangled, strangled, or suffocated between a bed rail, a mattress, or the bed frame.
Bed Rail Injuries
Data compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has found that from 2003 until May 2012, more than 36,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for bed rail injuries, and 150 people died. Most people who were seriously injured were older adults.
Bed rails are associated with the following serious risks:
- Strangling, suffocation, or serious bodily injury, or death when the patient is caught between bed rails, the opening of the rails, or between the bed rail and a mattress.
- Patients may crawl over the rail and fall from greater heights, increasing their risk of injury.
- Patients may be hindered from getting out of bed or going to the bathroom.
- These risks are exacerbated when bed rails are improperly matched to a bed frame, causing a wide gap between the bed rail and the mattress.
- Serious injuries can also occur when the bed rail is improperly installed, or objects such as supports remain when the bed rail is removed.
FDA and Bed Rail Warnings
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published several safety guidelines for caregivers about the dangers of bed rails. Between January 1985 and January 2010, the agency has received 828 incident reports, including 493 deaths, 141 nonfatal injuries, and 194 incidents where staff had to intervene to prevent patient injuries. The FDA continues to receive reports of patient deaths and injuries linked to bed rails.
According to federal guidance from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), published in June 2000:
“It is important to note that side rails present an inherent safety risk, particularly when the patient is elderly or disoriented. … The patient is at risk for entrapment, entanglement, or falling from a greater height posed by the raised side rail, with a possibility for sustaining greater injury or death than if he/she had fallen from the height of a lowered bed without raised side rails.”
Do I have a Bed Rail Injury Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free bed rail injury lawsuit review.