Yesterday, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and four of his colleagues called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to protect seniors by strengthening safety measures who use adult portable bed rails. Merkley was joined in today’s letter by Senators Sanders (I-VT), Harkin (D-IA), Franken (D-MN), and Blumenthal (D-CT). According to a report by the CPSC, nearly 37,000 people over the last nine years sought treatment due to bed rails injuries and there were 155 deaths involving bed rails, 83% of which were people 60 years or older.
Senator Merkley was alerted to the dangers of adult bed rails by Gloria Black, an Oregonian whose mother died from asphyxiation when she fell between her bed and a mattress at an assisted living facility in Vancouver, WA. After her mother’s death, Gloria contacted Senator Merkley’s office who got her in touch with the FDA and CPSC. She then learned that both agencies had known for more than a decade about deaths attributable to portable bed rails but had done little to crack down on companies that manufactured them. The CPSC report is a direct result of Gloria’s persistent quest to raise public awareness of possible bed rail dangers.
To read the Senators' letter to the CPSC, click here.