Chicago Nursing Home Bed Rail Entrapment Lawyers
Most nursing centers, hospitals, and home medical care providers use bed rails to assist patients that have limited mobility or are in danger of falling out of bed.
However, there is gaining concern that these attached rails are often misused as restraint devices and, even under the best circumstance, can endanger the patients they are meant to protect.
Bed rail entrapment, where home residents become lodged between bed rail and mattress or just in the bed rail itself, is a genuine threat that can severely injure or kill the patient.
The Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are fully committed to investigating and prosecuting Illinois attached-rail injury cases. Contact our office today for a free case review of your Illinois bed rail entrapment lawsuit.
FDA Alerts Public About Risks Associated With Bed Rails Used in Nursing Facilities
The dangers of bed rails are not a new phenomenon. Back in 1995, the FDA issued a safety alert regarding these medical devices and the risks that using them can have on patients. The main concern was entrapment, and the primary victims were elderly persons. The FDA reported four main ways that patients became entrapped from attached rails:
- Between the bars of a single attached rail
- In between the space of split attached rails
- Between the mattress and attached rail
- Between the headboard, footboard, mattress and attached rail
The safety alert from the FDA back in 1995 encouraged safety when using these devices. It advised regular inspection of the bed rails and mattress configurations, the use of protective barriers to reduce the chance of entrapment. It warned that attached rails should not be used as restraint devices. However, many nursing homes and medical care providers still misuse these devices, putting patients at risk for entrapment.
According to the United States CPSC, statistics show that about twelve individuals every year are reported to have died from bed rail entrapment. Minor injuries associated with entrapment by attached rails include swollen arms, bruised backs, neck contusions, red and purple marks on the neck, and bruising to the back of the head.
Some incidents of entrapment cause no injuries if the victim slips past the railing and off the bed.
Portable Bed Rails: An Added Danger To Hospital Beds
Portable bed rails are more dangerous types of attached rails that are used in homes and medical facilities. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a memorandum in October 2012 on the dangers of these devices based on incidents that had been reported by them.
The report focused not on attached rails used for children on adult beds, but portable bed rails that were used for adults. The report found that between January 2003 and September 2012, 160 incidences had been reported about these devices, including 155 fatalities. Also, some other statistics included:
- 93% of the fatalities were due to entrapment
- 83% were 60 years of age or older
- 61% of the fatalities happened at home
- At least 28% happened at nursing centers, assisted living or hospice facilities
- 36,900 portable bed rail injuries were treated in emergency rooms between January 2003 and December 2011.
These types of injuries and fatalities may be blamed on either the manufacturers of these rails, the medical facilities that use them, or both. Victims and family members should be aware that there may be cause for a lawsuit and financial compensation for injuries or loss of a loved one from entrapment in a portable bed rail.
Bed Rail Entrapment Injuries
There are many ways that a person can be injured through the use of bed rails, including entrapment injuries. According to the FDA, the main risks include:
- Strangulation or suffocation when head or neck becomes entrapped
- Bodily injury to trapped limbs, including bruising, lacerations, and fractures.
- Agitation and increased risk of self-harm due to confusion and frustration by the patient that is trapped.
Bed Rail Claims and Awards
$1,000,000 Settlement; Bed Rail Case; Chicago, Illinois
A woman fell off her bed and got trapped between it and the bed rails that were designed to keep her in place. Although the 92-year-old fractured her femur, the doctors elected not to perform surgery.
Unfortunately, she was not adequately monitored during her rehabilitation for that bed rail accident. Consequently, she developed bedsores on her feet, which became infected, creating an environment for maggots.
A case was brought on her behalf because of these developments. Her lawyers argued that the accident and poor recovery could not have happened but for the defendants’ negligence.
Further, they argued that the defendants should pay for the damage they created. The lawsuit sought payment for her pain, disabilities, and incurring expenses. The defendants chose to settle rather than try the case in court. The plaintiff received $1,000,000.
$570,000 Settlement; Bed Rail Case; Chicago, Illinois
The victim of this bed rail accident was nearly one hundred years old. She was admitted to an Illinois nursing facility after experiencing a bout of seizures. Staff members deemed her a fall risk and erected bed rails and took other precautions.
However, one day, they found her with her head pitted between the mattress and the bed rails. The nursing home staff took immediate action and tried to revive her. Tragically, their efforts were unsuccessful.
She died soon after this accident. Doctors deemed the cause of death as compressional asphyxia. Her two grandsons survived her. The loss of their grandmother was tragic. Her mounting medical bills they were expected to pay totaled nearly $10,000.
The grandsons sued the facility and the bed manufacturer. They claimed both defendants were responsible for her death, their pain, and all the bills. The defendants chose to settle the case instead of taking the lawsuit to trial and paid the plaintiffs $550,000. The mattress distributor gave the plaintiffs $20,000.
$223,678 Settlement; Bed Rail Case; Chicago, Illinois
This bed rail dispute case involved a victim in her late seventies. When attempting to exit the bed, she fell and broke her humerus bone and suffered brachial plexopathy. Her medical expenses totaled over $70,000.
After her healing, she still felt the effects of her injuries and experiences pain, limited mobility, and other handicaps. She sued the facility, arguing that they should have erected the bed rails to prohibit her movement and prevent falls. She made the case that it should have protected her from herself.
She was able to recover more than $200,000 in the settlement. That far exceeded her medical bills and reflected the fact she experienced harms that the facility could have prevented.
Estate Files Suit after Man Falls Out of Bed and Dies in Care Facility
The nursing home resident fell out of his bed. However, the effects of the fall were so harmful that the resident’s health began to decline, which ultimately ended to his death.
Eventually, lawyers for his estate brought legal action against the facility. They alleged that it should have developed and implemented a program to prevent him from falling and injuring himself while in bed. Specifically, the decedent’s lawyers faulted the facility for not erecting bed rails.
The lawyers argued that he would not have died had they taken this reasonable step. The defendant filed a reply with summary objections. This case was subsequently moved to Cook County and awaits a conclusion.
Hiring a Bed Rail Entrapment Attorney
Were you injured, or have you lost a loved one due to bed rail entrapment in a Chicago nursing home or hospital? If so, you may be eligible to receive compensation from the medical care provider or even the bed rail manufacturer. In some incidents, it may be possible that both parties are liable.
The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC ( (888) 424-5757) are experienced with handling nursing home negligence cases. Let us discuss the details of your bed rail injury case with you and provide the best option for compensation.
Our Chicago senior home abuse attorneys handle all cases on a contingency fee basis agreement. This arrangement ensures you receive immediate legal counsel and representation without the need to make a payment. Let us hold the nursing home staff responsible for the neglect or abuse financially accountable.
Call us today to set up a free consultation. There is no further obligation and no upfront costs for our services; we only get compensated if you do!