Medline Industries Portable Bed Rails Recalled Due To Asphyxia Hazard

Medline Industries Recalled 1.5 Million Portable Bed Assist Bars Due To Serious Entrapment and Asphyxia Risk

Medline Industries Portable Bed Rails Recalled Due To Asphyxia Hazard

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 5, 2024) – Medline Bed Assist Bar adult bed rails have been recalled after it was discovered that the device posed a serious risk of entrapment and asphyxiation.

The recall was issued after two deaths have been reported thus far. In general, adult portable bed rails are used to assist individuals who are disabled, injured, or recovering from surgery.

When the devices are functioning properly, they are intended to reduce the risk of falling. But the problem with the Medline Bed Assist Bar adult bed rails is that users can become entrapped within the bed rail.

It is also possible for users to become entrapped between the bed rail and the side of the mattress. Entrapment under these circumstances can lead to death by asphyxiation.

The recalled bed rails have the following model numbers: MDS6800BA and MDS6800BAH. Certain groups of people are at the highest risk, including the elderly, disabled, and those on medication which impairs equilibrium.

Liability For Bed Rail Entrapment Deaths

Asphyxia-related deaths involving bed rails are not a new phenomenon. They are a known hazard for patients who are elderly or disabled. According to CBS News, “An estimated 69,000 adults were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for rail-related injuries from 2003 to 2019, according to the CPSC. Among those incidents, 260 cases involved adult portable bed rails, including 247 fatalities, according to a July 2020 CPSC briefing paper.” Companies that make portable bed rails should take a number of measures in order to prevent asphyxia deaths.

  • Design Improvements: Bed rails should be designed so that there are no gaps that could trap a person’s head, neck, or limbs. The materials used to create the rails should be structurally stable and durable.
  • Compliance With Safety Standards: Product manufacturers should adhere to all safety standards and regulations set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and ASTM International.
  • Rigorous Testing: Bed rails should be thoroughly tested for potential hazards, including entrapment, suffocation, and structural failure.
  • Clear Instructions and Labeling: Bed rails should come with clear and comprehensive instructions for installation and use. Instructions should include warning labels about the hazards and risks associated with incorrect installation.

Depending on the facts of any case, a company that manufactures bed rails could be liable if someone is injured by their products. Companies can be liable for the design, manufacturing, and marketing defects associated with their products. Products with design defects are inherently unsafe, even if they are manufactured correctly. Products with manufacturing defects are unsafe because they were not made to design specifications. Products may have marketing defects if they have inadequate instructions or fail to warn users about the dangers associated with their use.

A nursing home or other healthcare provider could also potentially be held liable for any death resulting from bed rail asphyxiation. Bed rails are typically used in a medical setting with the supervision of healthcare professionals. Generally speaking, companies are liable for the wrongful actions of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. It is important that certain steps be taken after any instance of injury or death involving a bed rail.

  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
  • Medical records related to the death should be reviewed.
  • It should be determined if the bed rail involved was part of a recall.
  • An experienced product liability attorney should be contacted.

Asphyxiation deaths involving portable bed rails are nearly always preventable. Part of the problem is that medical device manufacturers may cut corners during a product’s creation. This may include failing to properly test a product in all of the likely settings in which it will be used. In far too many situations, increasing marginal profits is prioritized over the safety of the public. The family of any person who died in an accident involving a portable bed rail may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim.

Getting Legal Help After Bed Rail Entrapment Deaths

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates were deeply concerned to hear about the deaths associated with the Medline Bed Assist Bar adult bed rails. It is important that a recall has been issued. But more needs to be done in order to ensure that unsafe bed rails are not released to the public in the first place.

Have you or someone that you care about been injured by the Medline Bed Assist Bar adult bed rails? You may have legal recourse. Our team of product liability attorneys is here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that victims are aware of their rights and that companies are held accountable for selling dangerous products. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.