Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Portable bed rails aren't safe, research shows: FTC asked to ban false advertising

Date:
November 19, 2012
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Summary:
Portable bed rails marketed to "make any bed safer" actually increase the risk of injury and death, according to a new article.

Portable bed rails marketed to "make any bed safer" actually increase the risk of injury and death, according to an article in the November 15 issue of Biomedical Safety & Standards (BS&S).

Two consumer watchdog groups have requested the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to order one manufacturer to stop making false advertising claims regarding the safety of its portable bed rail. A front-page feature in BS&S reports on the request and provides background on the safety concerns related to the use of such products.

Bed Rails Linked to Deaths -- Request to Stop False Advertising

In September, two groups sent a formal letter to the FTC requesting that one manufacturer be stopped from making false safety claims for its portable bedrails. Last year, one of the groups petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban marketing and order a recall of specific bed rail models; to assess the design and use of similar bed handle or bed rail devices; and to investigate the risk of life-threatening injury or death from entrapment, strangulation, or positional asphyxia and ban other devices as appropriate.

The request cites more than 525 deaths associated with bed rail use that have been filed with the FDA, along with more than 155 deaths reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). There are multiple "entrapment zones" with the use of a bed rail, each with a risk of causing death by asphyxiation. This entrapment risk can be a fundamental feature of the design of the rail openings or may arise from how the bed rail attaches to the bed.

Meanwhile, the manufacturer continues to make safety clams, such as that its product "makes any bed a safer bed." In the petitions, the FTC is asked to order the manufacturer to stop making these unproved safety claims. Other portable bed rails on the market present similar safety issues.

Previous CPSC standards addressing bed rails for children and toddlers have led to sharp reductions in injuries and deaths in young children. However, the standards don't apply to products intended for adults -- especially older adults, for whom falls are a common and potentially catastrophic event.

There's no evidence that side rails safely prevent falls, whereas other measures -- such as lowering the bed and using anti-slip matting -- are effective. "A fall with a bed rail in place is more dangerous than a fall without a rail, because of the change in trajectory of the fall," according to the article in BS&S.

Although hundreds of deaths have been reported, it is likely that the true number of incidents is substantially higher. Home users and even some health care professionals may be unaware that such events should be reported to the FDA or CPSC. (Or if they are aware, they may not be motivated to report.) The BS&S feature article concludes, "Given portable bed rails are often sold directly to consumers and through medical supply stores, consumer groups think the CPSC and the FDA, both of which have been petitioned for rulemaking repeatedly in these matters, should be taking action to regulate, force recalls, and effectively ban marketing and sales of the dangerous devices.

A newsletter for medical device safety professionals, BS&S is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Safe, Portable Bed Rails: There's No Such Thing. Biomedical Safety & Standards, 15 November 2012 - Volume 42 - Issue 20 - p 153%u2013155 DOI: 10.1097/01.BMSAS.0000422545.39842.87

Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Portable bed rails aren't safe, research shows: FTC asked to ban false advertising." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119132104.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2012, November 19). Portable bed rails aren't safe, research shows: FTC asked to ban false advertising. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119132104.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Portable bed rails aren't safe, research shows: FTC asked to ban false advertising." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119132104.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins