The consumer organization Public Citizen recently petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking the agency to ban or at least recall a certain type of bed handle that elderly or infirm people may use to help themselves get in and out of bed, according to an article in Consumer Affairs. The bed handles have been linked to several deaths, as their users have become trapped, strangled, or injured because of them.
The bed handles are produced by Bed Handles, Inc., which is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri. The manufacturer’s website describes the handles as more safe than other handle designs, because they cannot be raised or lowered and so users cannot get pinched by them. However, Public Citizen notes that the bed handles, which are installed by sliding the bottom of the unit between the bed and the box spring or bed frame, can slide out of place, creating a gap between the handles and the mattress that an elderly or disabled person may become trapped in. Once trapped, a person risks injury or even suffocation. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a sweeping recall of drop-side cribs because infants could be trapped and injured in a similar manner.
These bed handles are not usually used in hospitals, and a Kentucky personal injury lawyer sees the importance of informing citizens that they are used in many nursing homes and assisted living facilities.