PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After the deaths of three women, the federal government is taking action regarding a safety hazard in the home.
Clara Marshall suffered from dementia and she was prone to falling. As a result, her assisted living facility recommended bed rails to keep her safe.
Her daughter received a tragic phone call four months later.
“They said my mother was found dead,” Gloria Black said.
Black learned her mother was strangled by the bed rail that was supposed to protect her.
“If we had any idea that people can die in bed rails, there is no way that my father would have bought that bed rail and no way I would have allowed it,” Black said.
Based on the deaths of Marshall and two other women, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a voluntary recall of more than 100,000 portable adult bed rails.
The recall involves three different bed handles that are produced by Bed Handles Inc. and were sold between 1994-2007.
The rails lack a safety straps and can slip out of place causing a dangerous gap between the bed handle and the side of the mattress. This poses a risk of entrapment, strangulation and death.
“These deaths are happening in people’s homes. We really need parents, caregivers to know that these older consumers can roll into this gap and they cannot free themselves,” Scott Wolfson with the CPSC said.
According to the CPSC, there have been 174 deaths over the past 10 years involving adult bed rails.
The FDA reports more than 530 deaths from hospital bed rails over the last two decades.
In February, a 94-year-old woman died after she was strangled by her bed rail at an assisted living facility in Waynesburg, Greene County.
“I did not realize at all that this was not attached to my mother’s bed. I always assumed that there were nuts and bolts fastening it,” Black said.
The CPSC said consumers should stop using the recalled bed rails and contact the company for free safety straps to secure the bed handle to the bed frame.
For more information visit the CPSC’s website here: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Adult-Portable-Bed-Handles-Recalled-by-Bed-Handles-Inc/