December 10, 2012

Sign the Petition to Protect the Elderly From Dangerous Bed Rails

by Levin & Perconti

Over the years, a lot of attention has been placed on keeping children safely in their cribs, shouldn’t the same attention be paid to our nations vulnerable elderly? If you believe that it should, our nursing home negligence lawyers urge you to sign a petition sponsored by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. This petition will tell government agencies that the elderly deserve protection from dangerous bed rails.

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care states that bed rails are used often in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and private homes, among other locations where the elderly reside. Sadly, these rails have caused strangulation and asphyxiation to thousands of the elderly using them. In fact, the New York Times reported on data compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission about this issue. This data showed that between the period of 2003 through May 2012, 150 elderly adults died after becoming trapped in bed rails. Over the same period, 36,000 patients, nearly 4,000 a year were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to bed rails. Additionally, officials at the Food and Drug Administration believe that this data most likely understated the issue because bed rails are often not listed as a cause of injury in emergency rooms, or as a cause of death by nursing homes and coroners.

The petition from the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care is addressed to both the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration. It calls for these organizations to develop regulations to prevent these avoidable injuries and deaths to our nations elderly. The petition calls upon these organizations to develop mandatory safety rules for bed rails to resolve any jurisdictional issues between the agencies. This last portion simply asks the two agencies to work together, or to delegate the responsibility for these safety regulations to one agency or the other. Too often, government agencies argue over who has the authority to develop necessary safety rules, instead of getting to the real heart of the issues, thus delaying necessary regulations. If you believe that our nations elderly should be protected from these dangerous bed rails, please consider signing the petition. Your signature will help send a message to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration that we need uniform regulations to protect the elderly from bed rails that can injure or kill them.

Our nursing home lawyers have been working since 1992 to protect the rights of the elderly and their families from the negligence of nursing homes, doctors, and large corporations that manufacture inadequate and dangerous products. Our firm is one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the area of nursing home negligence litigation. We have represented families affected by this very issue, achieving verdicts for families whose loved ones have been seriously injured or killed due to bedrail entrapment. Members of our firm frequently address audiences around the country on nursing home neglect issues. Steve Levin,a founder and senior partner at our firm also leads high-profile educational seminars for other lawyers in an effort to increase professional awareness and understanding of the issues facing the elderly. If you or a loved one has been injured by dangerous bed rails, please consider contacting our firm for a free consultation about your rights under the law.