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Warning: Possible Defective Bed Rails at Nursing Homes

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on December 19, 2012

A NY Times article recently shared that in November 2006, 81-year-old Clara Marshall was moved to a nursing home because of her dementia, and just five months later she was found dead in her room. She was apparently strangled after getting her neck caught in side rails used to prevent her from rolling out of bed.

After Clara’s death, her daughter Gloria Black began investigating and discovered that the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration had known for more than a decade about deaths from bed rails found in nursing homes and hospitals but had done little to crack down on the companies that make them.

Data compiled by the consumer agency from death certificates and emergency room visits from 2003 through May 2012 shows that 150 mostly older adults died after they became trapped in hospital or nursing home bed rails. Over nearly the same time period, 36,000 mostly older adults — about 4,000 a year — were treated in emergency rooms with bed rail injuries.

Robert S. Adler, a commissioner with the consumer safety agency, has made elderly safety a priority at the agency. He said as the elderly population increases, more and more people will be cared for in their homes and nursing homes, so bed rails are something we need to get a handle on.

If you are deciding which nursing home to take your loved one to, or if your loved one is already in a nursing home, make sure you check their bed rails to ensure they are up-to-date. If your loved one has suffered because of defective bed rails or any other kind of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the Law Office of W.T. Johnson today. We will help you get the justice you are entitled to.

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