Walk-in bathtubs are made for and marketed specifically toward the elderly population, promising peace of mind for older loved ones trying to manage their regular activities of daily living. Oftentimes, promotions and commercials claim the product has specifically been designed and engineered for the safety and comfort of the aging population.
A Population at Risk for Injury
Generally speaking, the elderly in Nevada and other parts of the country are at a significantly higher risk of injury than younger adults. Yet, the target market for walk-in bathtubs is the elderly for this exact reason. However, the elderly are often burdened with physical limitations, too much weight, fall risks, or other medical impairments. Marketing materials claim these products are specifically engineered for safety and promise to provide a luxurious bathing experience that is also comfortable.
Unfortunately, the elderly have a higher risk of falling, particularly while in the bath. While these walk-in tubs help alleviate the risk of tripping over the side of the tub when entering or exiting the bath, these products are not so useful when someone has fallen. Specifically, when a consumer falls or slides off the seat of the walk-in tub, he or she has little to no ability to pull him or herself back up; there is also no drain in these tubs. The door of the walk-in tub, which opens inwards and not outwards, is nearly impossible to open at this point because the user has fallen into the space that the door opens into and can not get up.
Walk-in Bathtub Incidents
On more than one occasion, elderly consumers of the walk-in bathtubs have been injured or killed after suffering a fall and becoming trapped in the bath.
A 67-year-old Las Vegas woman fell in her walk-in bathtub just three weeks after it was installed in her home. She was trapped in the small space in front of the seat and stuck there for several days. She was unable to open the door, pull herself up, nor drain the tub. Although she was found alive when a well check was performed after several calls to her home went unanswered, she later died of her injuries at the hospital where she was transferred.
A Houston, Texas man in his 60s slid off the seat of his walk-in bathtub about three years after its initial installation in his residence. The man landed on his back in the small space with his feet up in the air and his body covering the drain and blocking the tub door. His wife, who was home at the time of the incident and could not get him out or remove enough water from inside the tub, called 911. First responders transported the man to the hospital, where he later died of cardiac arrest due to drowning.
Nevada Personal Injury Attorneys
The personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau have represented those who have been injured or lost their lives in personal injury accidents. Our attorneys aggressively fight for the monetary compensation to which a victim and his or her family is entitled. Contact us today for your initial case evaluation.
(image courtesy of Emily Austin)