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Public Citizen Calls for Recall of Bed Handles
The nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen says some hospital bed rails can be dangerous — even lethal — for patients.
In a petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Public Citizen claims that a variety of bed handles used to assist the elderly or otherwise weak patients in getting out of bed can trap or suffocate people.
The petition urges the FDA to recall Bedside Assistant bed handles made by Missouri-based Bed Handles, Inc., and to investigate similar bed rail devices made by other companies.
Due to a design flaw, the handles can shift out of place, causing a gap to form between the mattress and the bars of the device. A patient can become entrapped if they fall between this gap and can even die from the pressure on their tracheas or chest walls.
Public Citizen reviewed FDA records and found four deaths related to the Bedside Assistant bed handles since 1999. The advocacy group believes many incidents go unreported and that the number of casualties and life-threatening incidents is even higher.
To view the petition, visit the Public Citizen website.
MDNews.com would like to know what you think. Are the risks associated with bed rail devices as serious as Public Citizen claims? Leave a comment below to weigh in on this topic.