Over 1.5 Million Portable Bed Rails Were Just Recalled After Two Deaths: What to Know

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SO Safety Bed Rail Recall

Safe sleeping isn’t just for babies, and a recent bed assist recall has a wider scope of safe sleep products and policies under a microscope.

Medline Industries, LP, a home medical supply company located in Northfield, Ill., recently recalled two models of its portable adult bed rail after two deaths were reported. The deaths occurred between July 2019 and November 2023, and included a 76-year-old woman at a nursing facility in Iowa and an 87-year-old woman at a residential care facility in South Carolina. They both died after becoming trapped while using the company’s “Bed Assist Bar” adult bed rail. 

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, individuals can become trapped in the bed rail when it’s attached to the bed, or can get trapped between the bed rail and side of the mattress, leading to death by asphyxiation. (1)

In its May 30th announcement, the company estimated that a total of 1.5 million adult portable bed rails were affected by the recall in the U.S. Additionally, Medline also sold over 5,000 of the recalled bed rails in Canada. The affected bed rails include model numbers MDS6800BA and MDS6800BAH and were manufactured between July 2009 and March 2024. The bed rails were sold through the Medline website, along with online retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens. The rails ranged from $32 to $64 in total cost.

Portable bed rails like the ones affected by the recent Medline recall have been the subject of safety concerns for several years. In its 2020 brief, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that 247 fatalities had occurred between 2003 and 2019 due to the use of adult portable bed rails. (2) Other recent recalls of portable bed rails have included products manufactured by Carex and Essential Medical Supply Inc, among others.

Adults use bed rails like this for many health reasons, such as getting in and out of bed independently, recovering from surgeries or injuries, and to steady themselves while transitioning to standing and sitting. Other types prevent both kids and adults from rolling out of bed, providing an additional barrier on the edge of the bed.

Consumers who are impacted by the recall are asked to stop using the bed rails immediately and contact Medline to receive a full refund. Medline can be reached toll-free at 866-359-1704, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT. Consumers can also reach out to Medline through email at recalls@medline.com. Consumers can also talk to their doctors if they are unsure what type or brand of bed rails to get.

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1. CPSC; “Medline Industries Recalls 1.5 Million Adult Portable Bed Rails Due to Serious Entrapment and Asphyxia Hazards; Two Deaths Reported,” Consumer Product Safety Commission; https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2024/Medline-Industries-Recalls-1-5-Million-Adult-Portable-Bed-Rails-Due-to-Serious-Entrapment-and-Asphyxia-Hazards-Two-Deaths-Reported; June 2024.

2. Dayal, Vineed K. “UPDATE ON PETITION CP 13-1,
PETITION REQUESTING A BAN OR STANDARD ON ADULT PORTABLE BED RAILS,” Consumer Product Safety Commission; https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Update%20on%20Peititon%20CP%2013-1%20-%20Requesting%20a%20Ban%20or%20Mandatory%20Standard%20on%20Adult%20Portable%20Bed%20Rails.pdf?kiDixW5Z7x9xcOqjxSeS3QpvspdfQMBY; July 15, 2020.

Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost is a Cincinnati-based freelance journalist, content marketing writer, copywriter, and editor focusing on health and wellness, parenting, real estate, business, education, and lifestyle. Away from the keyboard, Alex is also mom to her four sons under age 7, who keep things chaotic, fun, and interesting. For over a decade she has been helping publications and companies connect with readers and bring high-quality information and research to them in a relatable voice.  She has been published in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Glamour, Shape, Today's Parent, Reader's Digest, Parents, Women's Health, and Insider.

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