Are Bed Handles Dangerous For Seniors?

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Many elderly people use them in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and the product in their own homes. They are “bed handles,” manufactured and sold by a company called Bed Handles, Inc, a bedside rail of sorts created to allow users easier ingress and egress from bed. Now, Public Citizen, the non-partisan consumer advocacy group, is announcing that the bed rails are dangerous to consumers.

“Contrary to the manufacturer’s claim that the Bedside Assistant bed handles make any bed a safer bed, data previously provided to the FDA demonstrate that these devices can turn a bed into a death trap for patients who are physically weak or have physical or mental impairments,” said Dr. Michael Carome, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

The bed handles, which look similar to bed rails, can trap elderly or frail individuals, and can even cause strangulation or asphyxiation. According to Public Citizen, a review of public records has revealed that four people have been killed using the device since 1999 after the handles slipped out of place, creating a gap where the user can slide into.

Last week, Public Citizen has submitted a petition to the US Food and Drug Administration asking the agency to order a recall of the bedside device, and to issue a ban of all further sales. [Click Here to Read the Petition .pdf]
Click here to read the entire Public Citizen press release.


The Walton Law Firm provides free consultations to individuals and families throughout San Diego County who believe a loved one has been neglected in the hospital, nursing home, assisted living, board and care, or home health care setting. Call (760) 571-5500 or (866) 607-1325 for a free and confidential case evaluation.