Portable Bed Rails Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries for NJ Nursing Home Patients

Portable bed rails, when not used properly for residents who need them, can be a major hazard for seniors living in New Jersey nursing homes. Across the US, many nursing home residents who fall out of their beds can sustain significant physical injuries. In the worst cases, these injuries can result in death.

A portable bed rail is a device that can be installed on a bed to prevent the person sleeping in the bed from falling onto the ground. While bed rails are typically used in children’s beds, a lot of seniors residing in nursing homes require bed rails to protect against inadvertently sliding out of their beds while sleeping.

Across a 10-year period, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports of 155 fatal accidents involved portable adult bed rails. More than 80 percent of all victims who died were over the age of 60, suggesting the scope of the problem faced by nursing homes. The oldest victim who died as a result of a fall-related accident was 103 years of age.

The Causes of Bed Rail Accidents and Deaths in Nursing Homes

Many bed rail accidents were caused by rail entrapment. In fact, rail entrapment was listed as a cause in 93 percent of all deaths related to portable adult bed rail incidents. This means that most seniors who died in portable bed rail accidents became stuck or trapped between the mattress and the bed rail, resulting in catastrophic injuries to their heads and necks.

For nursing home residents who suffer from illness or disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, or who have limited mobility, these kinds of fatal bed rail accidents are more likely. That’s why nursing home employees need to take the time to monitor patients and ensure that they are not able to fall out of their beds. Beyond that, nursing home employees should inspect the beds used by residents and make sure that the portable bed rails have been properly installed and do not pose a safety hazard.


If your elderly loved one has been injured due to nursing home negligence or abuse, you should talk to a qualified nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as possible. Barry Sugarman is an experienced New Jersey nursing home negligence attorney who will make sure your loved one gets the care they deserve. Contact Barry Sugarman any time to schedule a free consultation.

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