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Bed rail safety is subject of new government web page

December 23, 2013
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have introduced new online information about bed rail safety, including recommendations for healthcare professionals in long-term care facilities who wish to install or use bed rails. The information appears on the FDA’s website; the agency has oversight over bed rails that aren’t portable, because they are considered medical devices.

“All bed rails should be used with caution, especially with older adults and people with altered mental status, physical limitations and certain medical conditions,” the agencies contend.

The online information also describes various types of bed rails—including portable ones for adults and children as well as bed rails used in hospitals—and provides recommendations for caregivers, the general public and manufacturers; instructions for reporting problems and complaints; and links to additional information on government websites. See the menu on the left side of the web page at either of the above links for additional information.

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