Hospital Beds Part II – What You Need To Know Before You Get Yours!

Invacare Hospital Bed

Invacare Hospital Bed

In last month’s Vitality Medical blog, we discussed what you need to know about buying a Hospital Bed Package. Now lets examine what you need to include with your Hospital Bed. There are several components to a hospital bed; the right combination of these features will create a custom hospital bed that’s right for you. Don’t let your Hospital Bed purchase keep you up nights.

Bed Types

Hospital beds are unique because they tilt and adjust for a patient’s comfort. How the bed adjusts, raises and lowers, will define the bed type. Typically, Hospital Beds come in three types: Fully Electric, Semi-electric, Manual.

Fully Electric Hospital Beds will have 2 or 3 electric motors attached to the frame. The motors raise and lower the head section, The Foot Section and the Bed Deck (The Bed Deck is the height of the bed from the floor.) A Full Electronic Hospital Bed is the type most frequently found in a hospital room. The control of the Patient Bed adjustments is in a handheld device called the pendant.

A Semi-Electric Hospital Bed will have 1 or 2 electric motors attached under the frame. The motors raise and lower the head and foot sections only. A hand-crank, at the foot of the bed, controls the height of the bed. A Semi Electronic Hospital Bed is great for one patient at a time. Once you set the bed height, you leave it for that patient. If your patient needs adjustable bed height, you may need a Fully Electric Bed.

A Manual Hospital Bed is the least expensive of the hospital beds but all adjustments are made using hand cranks or fixed position supports. The truth is, at Vitality Medical, we don’t sell these too frequently.

Mattress Types

Most mattresses have a vinyl or plastic surface that is fluid proof, stain resistant, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Some are cloth and shouldn’t be cleaned and reused for infectious patients. Typically these mattresses are about 7 inches thick. The Standard Hospital Bed size is 80 x 35 inches. (A U.S. twin size measures 75 x 39 inches)

Span America Air Mattress

Span America Air Mattress

Air Mattresses provide a rotation of firm and soft surfaces so the bedridden patient doesn’t develop pressure sores. Basic Air Mattress Overlays do this as well but an overlay will go on top of another mattress. Air Mattresses that are more complex are made of alternating pressure cells (long tubes full of air). Air Mattresses can cost thousands of dollars but are clinically proven to improve pressure sores. When choosing an air mattress it is important to look at the weight capacity of the mattress. If the user exceeds the manufacturer’s recommended weight, the mattress could break and void the warranty.

A Foam Mattress is just what the name implies, high-density foam that combines quality, comfort, and value. Just like the air mattress, the foam mattress has a weight capacity. These mattresses are commonly found in hospitals but care should be used to avoid pressure sores when using this type of mattress.

An Innerspring Mattress is similar to a common home bed mattress. A matrix of coiled springs support the patient. This type of mattress can be comfortable for ambulatory patients but for immobile patients other options may be considered.

Always consult your physician or the treating physician before making a mattress selection.

Safety/Assist Rails

When you get a hospital bed with rails, it is assumed that you will be getting two rails one for each side of the bed. Safety rails are usually sold in pairs. Vitality Medical carries an assortment of hospital bed rails, including bed safety rails (described in more detail below), bed assist rails to help people get in and out of bed, and side rail protectors to help prevent injury from colliding with the bed rail. Vitality Medical carries the following manufacturers of bedrails: Invacare, Posey, Drive Medical, Graham-Field, Standers and Regalo. There are three types of bed safety rails: Full-length, Half Length and Assist rails.

Full-Length Rails these rails are more restrictive. Full rails are often employed when the goal is to keep the patient from falling out of bed. When a patient should only get out of bed with assistance, these rails may improve compliance.

Standers Half-Length Rails

Standers Half-Length Rails

Half-Length Rails are like the full-length rails-halfway. These are less restrictive so they may be used to wake someone up before they roll out of bed. If the patient can get in and out without assistance this may be the way to go. Also these rails can act as assist devices for patients who need something to grab onto to sit up.

Assist Rails are the lease restrictive rail type. These rails are used exclusively to assist patients in and out of bed. These are much smaller than the other bed rails, but these are more ergonomically designed to fit the contours of the hand also.

WARNING: The improper use of bed rails can be hazardous to the patient. The Food and Drug Administration has produced a pamphlet on Hospital bed risks. To read it Click Here.

Invacare Tilt Overbed Table

Invacare Tilt Overbed Table

Everything Else You Want To Know

The last two week’s blogs have been basic Hospital Bed knowledge. The areas not covered in the last two weeks of blogs include other bed accessories like:

A Hospital Bed is a significant investment. Before you purchase one you need to get your questions answered. You are always welcome to contact Vitality Medical, we are happy to help. But whatever you do, make your purchasing decisions an informed decision.

For 8 years, at Vitality Medical, we have delivered on our promise to sell top quality medical supplies at some of the best prices on the Web.

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One response to “Hospital Beds Part II – What You Need To Know Before You Get Yours!

  1. Pingback: Hospital Beds – What You Need To Know Before You Get Yours! « Vitality Medical Blog

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