Safety regulators say few consumers have responded to bed handle recall despite 3 deaths

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Federal regulators are reminding the public about a recall of adult bed handles because of a a risk to the elderly or disabled, noting that three women have died.

The recall covers 113,000 L-shaped portable bed handles, which are attached to beds to help people stand, sit, or roll over. The products that are being recalled do not have safety retention straps to hold them in place, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that without those straps, the handles can shift, creating a gap between the handle and the side of the mattress.

The agency said in 2014 that three women, two of them elderly and one disabled, became trapped in those gaps and died. All three women were living in group facilities.

The CPSC announced the recall in May 2014 but says less than 1 per cent of buyers have responded.

The agency says consumers should stop using the handles and should contact Bed Handles Inc. of Blue Springs, Missouri, to get the safety retention straps for free.

The handles are made of tubular steel, with three-foot poles that extend under the mattress. They were sold at drug stores and home health care and medical equipment stores from 1994 to 2007, and they cost about $100. They were sold under the names Original Bedside Assistant, Adjustable Bedside Assistant and Travel Handles.