Almost 15 years ago a story was published regarding the dangers of hospital bed side rails. Recently it was republished likely in an attempt to warn people in Nashville and nationwide of the hazards the beds continue to pose.
Medical devices are supposed to aid in the treatment of an individual. When they fail to do so, or when a patient is given a defective medical product, it can cause serious harm or even death to those who are already ill or otherwise physically compromised in some way.
According to reports, during a three year period the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports of 74 deaths that were attributed to side rail injuries. The FDA sent out a warning to hospitals and care facilities alerting them to the fact that a gap between the mattress and side rail can trap a patient and suffocate or strangle them.
Some individuals claim that the government is not taking this issue seriously; however, sources report that this may be due to the fact that the full extent of the problem has not been completely explored. This may be due to the fact that many deaths or injuries related to medical bed side rails go unreported and therefore are not included in medical equipment safety reports.
A nursing home researcher indicated that side rails should no longer be considered safety devices, and claims that the nursing home industry has battled against his research. While it can be easy to see how one would be hesitant to lower or completely do away with side rails, working toward injury awareness and prevention is still important. If your loved one has been injured by a medical bed in some way, contact a products liability attorney to discuss your options.
Source: Duluth News Tribune, “Death beds: Siderails are killers — and little is being done to make them safer,” Kendra Rosencrans and Craig Lincoln, Oct. 13, 2013