The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced a recall of Nova Medical Products adult bed rails because of their serious potential to cause entrapment or asphyxiation. While this recall is mainly for bed rails used in the home, it does shed light on entrapment and asphyxiation injuries that often occur in nursing homes. As a result, we should pay more attention to these product recalls, as well as take these injuries and the protocols to prevent them more seriously.
This recall included about 20,000 units. The CPSC announced the recall because of the bed rail’s risk of trapping individuals between the side of the mattress and the bed rail. This creates a serious hazard of death by asphyxiation. These bed rails will either need to be repaired or replaced before they will be able to be used again.
If you have one of these adult bed rails at home or know someone who does, the model numbers are 6093 and 6094. One model is a home bed rail that attaches to the bed, while the other model is a home bed rail with legs. Each bed rail is made from white metal tubing and consists of a grip handle made of black rubber foam. If you are looking for the model number, it can be found on the grip handle, starting with the letters “BL” and followed by numbers.
Once you locate the model number on your product and determine that you have a recalled bed rail, the CPSC recommends that you stop using the bed rail immediately. You can reach out to Nova Medical Products to request a replacement or repair at 800-557-6682 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, or online at www.novajoy.com/recall-information or www.novajoy.com.
What is entrapment and asphyxiation?
Entrapment and asphyxiation are when an individual’s chest, head, or neck is trapped between two objects, causing the individual to lose oxygen. WebMD defines asphyxiation as “when your body doesn’t get enough oxygen to keep you from passing out.” This is very serious and may lead to death quickly.
When these accidents involve a bed rail, the individual usually becomes trapped between the rail and the bed’s mattress. Most of the time, these accidents happen when the individual is asleep, but they can also happen when an elderly or weak person is trying to get up from their bed without help.
Portable bed rail entrapments and asphyxiations are a real concern
[CPSC staff] identified a total of 332 incident reports for the period January 2003 to December 2021. Of these, 310 were reports of fatalities, and 22 were reports of nonfatal incidents. Most of the incidents were identified from death certificates, medical examiner reports, or coroner reports. Death certificate data often have lag time of around two to three years from date of reporting. As the APBR data in CPSRMS are heavily reliant on death certificates, data collection is ongoing and incident data for 2020, 2021, and 2022 should all be considered incomplete, and likely to increase.
The remaining incidents were extracted from various sources including newspaper clippings, consumer reports, and manufacturer and retailer reports to CPSC. These documents contain limited information on incident scenarios. The age range of victims in the 305 fatal incidents for which age was reported was 14 to 103 years. More than 75 percent of the incident victims were age 70 or older, and almost 80 percent of the reported fatalities involved victims ages 70 or older.
What Reno nursing homes can learn from the risks of portable bed rails
Nursing homes across the United States are required to watch out for risks of entrapments after bed rails have been installed. There are also supposed to be policies in place at every facility addressing the use of bed rails. In fact, a federal law (483.25) was implemented in 2016 to ensure that nursing homes do not have accident hazards, and bed rails are considered to be accident hazards. This law also mentions that all other options must be exhausted before installing bed rails, as there are plenty of other options that are much safer, including “removable bolsters, trapeze bars and concave mattresses,” as well as vertical transfer poles, ladders, and Posey beds. Therefore, bed rails should be the last resort for nursing homes, and if they decide to use bed rails, they must be properly installed, maintained, and used.
Bed rail asphyxiation in nursing homes is usually 100 percent preventable. When these types of accidents occur, the nursing home will need to show proof that they followed the proper safety requirements for the bed rail. This proof is usually in the form of paperwork that documents the installation process and ongoing maintenance. It will also show the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations when installing, using, and maintaining these bed rails.
Even if the bed rails were installed properly, there will need to be documentation showing that the nursing home also performed inspections routinely to make sure there were no risks of entrapments to the residents.
Why do you need a Reno personal injury attorney for a nursing home bed rail accident?
If your family member or loved one suffered an injury or died because of a dangerous bed rail, you want an experienced Reno personal injury lawyer to assist you. You may have a claim against the manufacturer or against the nursing home which installed the dangerous rails.
At Claggett & Sykes, we understand that the medical bills or funeral costs may be adding up from this type of accident. Therefore, our team will fight for your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation needed to cover these accumulated expenses.
If you are looking for a law firm that will investigate and determine if a nursing home is properly taking care of its residents, you’ve come to the right place. At Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, we will do everything in our power to make sure that this vulnerable population is being treated with the utmost respect and care.
Our team takes pride in making a difference in our Reno clients’ lives and would be glad to hear about your case. Call our Reno office or submit our contact form to schedule a consultation. A member of our staff will be in touch with you as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation.
We are not simply a personal injury firm. We are trial lawyers who take on catastrophic injury, brain injury, and wrongful death cases. These cases are different than most personal injury cases and the needs of these cases cannot be met by law firms that take on just any case.
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