Bedrail deaths could fuel ban

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting comments until Aug. 5 on a petition calling for a total ban on adult portable bed rails.

The commission merged two petitions from a vast array of consumer interest groups before publishing notice in the Federal Register in early June. The combined petition can be found at www.regulations.gov.

The groups, citing CPSC data, say there were 155 bed-rail deaths in the decade ending 2012. The settings included nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospices and private homes. This is in addition to nearly 37,000 related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments from 2003 to 2011.

Entrapment, asphyxiation and head injuries from falls were among the dangerous problems.

Public Citizen brought one of the original petitions, calling for banishment, product recalls and possible consumer refunds. A “Consumer Group” of ombudsman programs, union workers and more than 60 organizations signed the other petition, which seeks stricter standards, reviews and labels if a ban is not created.

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