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From Products Liability Law Daily, May 20, 2014

Adult portable bed handles recalled by Bed Handles Inc.; three deaths reported

By Joe Bichl

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bed Handles Inc., of Blue Springs, Missouri, have announced the voluntary recall of about 113,000 adult portable bed handles after three women died from becoming entrapped between the mattress and the bed handles.

When attached to an adult’s bed without the use of safety retention straps, the handle can shift out of place creating a hazardous gap between the bed handle and the side of the mattress, according to the company’s recall notice. This poses a serious risk of entrapment, strangulation, and death, Bed Handles Inc. warned.

Incidents and injuries. The three women who died include an elderly woman, age unknown, who died in an Edina, Minnesota, assisted living facility; a 41-year-old disabled woman who died in a Renton, Washington, adult family home; and an 81-year-old woman who died in a Vancouver, Washington, managed care facility.

According to CPSC’s On Safety Blog, from January 2003 to December 2013, CPSC received reports of nearly 175 deaths related to adult portable bed rails. In addition, an estimated 39,600 adult portable bed rail injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms from 2003 to 2012, the blog reported. Most of these deaths and injuries occurred with people who were 60 years old and older.

The Food and Drug Administration reported 531 deaths from January 1985 to January 2013 with bed rails used on hospital beds. The biggest cause for deaths and injuries are from people becoming trapped. Entrapments happen between rails or between the rails and a mattress, a commode, the floor or a headboard. Portable bed rails include rails, handles, and grab bars. They are attachable and removable from a bed, not designed as part of the bed by the manufacturer, and are installed on or used along the side of a bed.

Product description. The recall involves adult portable bed handles sold by Bed Handles Inc. from 1994 through 2007 that do not have safety retention straps to secure the bed handle to the bed frame to keep the bed handle from shifting out of place and creating a dangerous gap. Recalled models include the Original Bedside Assistant® (BA10W), the Travel Handles™ (BA11W) which is sold as a set of two bed handles, and the Adjustable Bedside Assistant® (AJ1).

The L-shaped bed handles are made out of ¾ inch tubular steel, measure 20 inches wide, 16 to 20 inches tall and have 3 ft. poles that extend under the mattress. The Original Bedside Assistant® (BA10W) and the Travel Handles™ (BA11W) have a white handle with white poles that go under the mattress. The Adjustable Bedside Assistant® (AJ1) is gold in color and has a black cushioned foam handle. The bed handles are intended to assist adults with getting in and out of bed by giving them a bar to grip. Bed Handles Inc. and the model number are printed on a white label on the bed handles.

The bed handles, which were manufactured in the United States, were sold by home health care stores, drug stores, and medical equipment stores nationwide and in home and health care catalogs from January 1994 through December 2007 for about $100. They were manufactured in the United States.

Remedy. Consumers should stop using all recalled bed handles that were sold without safety retention straps and contact Bed Handles Inc. for free safety retention straps to secure the bed handle to the bed frame, new assembly and installation instructions for models BA10W/BA11W and AJ1 and a warning label to attach to the bed handles. The bed handles should be used only with the safety retention straps securely in place attaching the bed handle to the bed frame in order to prevent a gap, the company stated.

Consumer contact. For more information, consumers can contact Bed Handles Inc. at (800) 725-6903 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday, or online at http://bedhandles.com/recall.html.

Companies: Bed Handles Inc.

MainStory: TopStory ProductRecallsNews CPSCNewsStory HouseholdProductsNews

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