A review of bedrail deaths and injuries among adults was released this week by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Since January of 2003, a total of 155 deaths have involved bedrails. 126 of those deaths were among adults 60 or older.
The deaths were divided between homes and care facilities such as nursing homes. Many of the deceased had medical problems such as heart disease, dementia and others. Most deaths occurred when an individual got their neck or head stuck in the rails.
As it stands, oversight of these devices is murky. Does responsibility fall on the Food and Drug Administration or the Consumer Product Safety Commission? Which rails are considered medical devices and which are consumer products? There issues can have big effects on cases involving nursing home negligence.
Regulators plan to use the study to educate those giving care to the elderly and disabled as well as the public about potential hazards.