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CPSC releases data on bed rail deaths

December 5, 2012

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Bethesda, MD – Most deaths related to adult portable bed rails occur among people 60 and older, and rail entrapment is the leading cause, finds a review from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

From January 2003 to September 2012, adult portable bed rails were linked to 160 incidents, 155 of which were fatalities, according to an Oct. 11 memo (.pdf file) from CPSC. Of the fatalities, 143 – 93 percent – were related to rail entrapment, followed by 11 falls from the bed rail and one in which the victim hit his head on the rail.

Medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, seizure and mobility limitations were present in about half of fatality cases. Most incidents – 61 percent – occurred at home, followed by nursing homes and assisted living and hospice facilities.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) on Nov. 30 asked (.pdf file) the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission and CPSC to create a task force to strengthen bed rail oversight.

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