• Adult portable bed rails can be attached and removed from the bed
  • When the recalled product is attached to the bed, the user can get entrapped
  • In two incidents, the users became trapped between the mattress and the product

A company is voluntarily recalling more than 496,000 units of its bed rail products because they may pose entrapment and asphyxiation hazards. Two deaths have so far been reported in connection with the products.

The recall affects four different models of Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare Bed Assist Handles and Bed Assist Rail adult portable bed rails, the announcement on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website noted. These are the Bed Assist Handle (Model 15064), Bed Assist Rail with Folding Board (15062) and Home Bed Assist Handle in models RTL15073 and RTL15063-ADJ.

Many people use bed rails to create a "supportive and assistive sleeping environment" whether at home, in assisted living facilities or in residential care facilities, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted. There are several types of such products, and adult portable bed rails are the ones that can be attached and removed from a bed with the intention of reducing the risk of falling and helping the user when repositioning in the bed or going in and out of it.

The problem with the recalled products is that the users can get entrapped "within the bed rail or between the rail and the side of the mattress" when an item is attached to the bed. This can pose an entrapment hazard and death risk by asphyxiation, the announcement explained.

As of the recall notice, there have been two reports of entrapment deaths associated with models 15064 and RTL15073 — one involving a 93-year-old woman who was at her home in California and another involving a 93-year-old man who was at an assisted living facility in Canada. These happened in 2011 and 2015.

"In both incidents, the bed rails were not securely attached to the bed and the users became entrapped between the product and their mattress," the announcement noted.

As Health Canada explained, "available information" revealed that the retention straps were not secured properly.

As such, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare is recalling some 496,100 units of the adult portable bed rails, which were sold from October 2007 to December 2021 at medical supply stores nationwide as well as online via Amazon and Walmart's online platforms. About 68,000 units were also sold in Canada and 119 units were sold in Mexico.

Photos of the recalled products, as well as the model names, dimensions and the names they were sold as on Amazon are available on the CPSC and company websites. Users can locate the name "Drive" as well as the model number in a label on the product's metal tubing, the announcement noted.

Those who have the recalled products are advised to stop using them and instead to contact the company to get a full refund. They can register for a refund via the company's website.

As the FDA noted, there have been many reports of death and injuries related to adult portable bed rail products and even hospital bed rails.

"All bed rails should be used with caution, especially with older adults and people with altered mental status, physical limitations and certain medical conditions," the agency noted.

Old Person, Elderly Hands Representation. Photo: Pixabay