After an analysis of FDA records, the non-profit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen sent a petition to the FDA requesting that they recall two models of bed rails produced by Bed Handles, Inc.  Public Citizen claims that evidence shows that if a weak or frail elderly person – assumingly those whom would purchase the bed rails in the first place – falls in-between the bed rails and the mattress, they can suffocate to death. 

“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.

Public Citizen says documents show that this has happened, and believes that it has happened more than the document report because people don’t know to the bed rails are governed by the FDA and should be reported when there is a death.

The Public Citizen petition requested the ban on Bedside Assistant model numbers BA10W and BA10W-6.  The rails are not designed for hospital use, but

You can read the full Public Citizen’s findings and petition online here.