Hospital bedrails are probably familiar to you. If you’ve ever seen a hospital bed, you’ve probably noticed the rails that can be raised or lowered and run the length of the bed. These bedrails are mechanically attached to the hospital bed.
Most people would probably be surprised to know that there are more than one kind of adult bedrail. In fact, there are many different types of portable adult bedrails. Some are very short (12-18 inches long), some run the length of a bed, some are shaped like a cane handle, some have telescoping handles like a piece of luggage, some are set to a permanent height.
This variability has advantages because everyone can choose exactly the type of style that fits their needs, but it also has some negative consequences. To wit, there is virtually no regulation to ensure that these devices are actually safe and capable of doing the job they are advertised to solve. Shockingly, there are no legal regulations for the portable bedrails. A set of standards was developed, but their implementation is strictly voluntary.
155 fatal accidents involving portable bedrails have been recorded between 2003 and 2012 in the United States. There were 36,900 estimated injuries caused by portable bedrails during that time.
Many of the fatalities were caused by bedrail entrapment. Specifically, the victim becomes ensnared by the bedrail in some way and is unable to free themselves. Other fatalities were caused by falls where the victim fell off or over the bedrail. While 94 fatalities took place in the home, 43 took place in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or a hospice.
Nursing homes have an obligation to protect the people in their care from injuries suffered in their facilities. A nursing home fall caused by a faulty or improperly used piece of equipment is no different from any other kind of nursing home fall.
If you have a loved one who has been injured due to a portable bedrail, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers now.