The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Bed Rails Kill People

Jun 17, 2024

About 1.5 million adult bed rails have been recalled in the U.S. and Canada because of the risk of getting stuck between the bed rail and the mattress and suffocating as a result. The bed rails are made by the Illinois-based company Medline Industries. The deaths of two elderly people are linked to them. Medline’s recall is the seventh recall of bed rails since 2021.

Bed rails are used to prevent people from falling out of bed and to assist them in adjusting their position. The devices promise safety for people with medical needs. But they have injured thousands of people, according to federal estimates. Peoples’ heads and other body parts get stuck in the rail or in the gap between the rail and the mattress. At least 284 people have been killed this way between 2021 and 2023.

“This is one of the more frightening, tragic, catastrophic injuries that we’ve encountered in representing nursing home residents and their families,” Chicago lawyer Steven Levin said.

Mandatory testing and performance requirements are now being established. But increasing staff instead of reducing staff would also help. But that would cut into profits.