The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the tragic and preventable death of Pittsburgh businessman Robert Frankel who died from asphyxiation from an incident in which his neck was trapped in bed rails. Mr. Frankel died late Sept. 17 at the nursing home from what the medical examiner deemed at the time accidental asphyxiation, “due to compression of the neck.” The Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has discontinued using such railings in response, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Health report.
“Based on review of facility policy and documentation, clinical records and staff interview, it was determined that the facility failed to identify a hazard created by the use of side rails resulting in the death,” the report said. The report said that at 11:30 pm. on Sept. 17, “a nurse aide was performing first rounds to check on the residents and found Resident R1 (Health Department inspection reports do not identify individuals by name) pulseless and without respirations, lying with his body on the floor and his neck between the air mattress and the side rail.” A nursing supervisor pronounced him dead at 11:40.