Public Citizen's letter targets the devices by Bed Handles Inc. of Blue Springs, MO, but says similar devices made by other companies may be equally dangerous.
Bon Shaw, President of Bedside Handles, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that Public Citizen's claims are "incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading," because out of 200,000 bedside products sold, there have been only three incidents, not five.
He explained that the first incident, in 1999, was thought to be unique. But when the second one occurred in 2006, the company took steps to correct the problem.
"We added restraining straps with buckles to all our products across the board," Shaw says. Also, the company provided free straps and buckles to every customer using the products previously sold without them. "It is our belief that the problems occurred in instances where the products were being misused or the handles were improperly inserted."
"The attendant who put the person in bed pulled it out and then tried to jam it in after the person was on the mattress which is almost impossible to do correctly," he says.
Since the installation and distribution of the buckles and straps, there have been no adverse events caused by the products, he said.