Category Archives: Hospital Beds

Hospital Bed Mattress Buying Guide – A comparison of Mattresses for Hospital Beds

When buying a hospital mattress you may wonder, what type of mattress is best for you? No mattress is perfect for everyone, so what do you buy? How do you decide what is best for your situation? The answers are not as complicated as they seem.

What is the Difference Between Hospital Mattresses?

There are three types of mattress for a hospital bed: foam, innerspring, or circulating air. Foam mattresses are made by a few different manufacturers and some are better than others. Inner spring mattresses are similar to the ones that may be in your bedroom now. Innerspring mattresses are most common on home style beds, so they are what most people are used to. Finally, circulating air mattresses come in either a composite of foam with circulating air or just the air bladders without the presence of foam.

innerspring mattress for hospital beds

Graham Field Innerspring Mattress

What is More Comfortable?

The most comfortable hospital mattress is determined by what you need in a mattress. Everyone is different. Some people prefer a firm sleep surface while others want a very soft cushion. Many styles of foam and some styles of circulating air mattresses are going to be firmer. If you prefer a firm mattress choose a high density foam or a mattress with many layers. If you prefer a mattress with more give, choose an innerspring mattress or a circulation air mattress that has less bladders.

What About Long Term Care?

People who are in bed for extended periods of time are more likely to struggle with bed sores. Alternating pressure mattresses are air mattress for hospital beds, designed specifically to prevent pressure ulcers, also known as, bed sores, because the circulation of the air prevents pressure points from developing. Some air mattress have four bladders while others can have up to thirty bladders. Basically, the more bladders the more circulation that happens. More circulation means less pressure build up, helping to prevent or manage bedsores.

span america pressure guard CFT Mattress

Span America Pressure Guard CFT Air Mattress

Will Hospital Bed Mattresses Work on a Home-style Bed?

Most hospital beds come in one standard size 36 x 80. Most hospital mattresses are only available in this size, so they will not work on a home-style bed that comes in twin, queen, or king sizes.

However, there are some manufacturers that make hospital style mattresses for home style beds. The Span America Pro comes in twin, full, king, and queen, as well as, hospital mattress size.

Conclusions

Hospital mattresses are an item that requires some amount of deliberation. If you don’t know what you want, there are bed packages available that come with economical mattresses. However, if you have any preference, it is best to choose the mattress that is going to work best for you.

Resources

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bedsores/DS00570/DSECTION=prevention

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/mattresses/buying-guide.htm

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Why Buy a Hospital Bed Instead of Renting One

There are several reasons why at one time or the other, you or your loved one may need a hospital bed. If you need a hospital bed, the option of whether to buy or rent one usually comes up. Buying a hospital bed is not a bad idea, neither is renting one. However, there are several factors in determining whether it would be better to buy a hospital bed or to rent one.

Invacare Low Bed

You may want to rent if the need for such bed is not extended for a brief period of 1 to 2 months. But when the bed is needed for an extended period of time, it becomes most cost effective to buy a long term care bed instead. There are several advantages when you buy your own hospital bed instead of renting it. The benefits include but not limited to the following:

You Get a Brand New Bed

Sadly, when you rent a hospital bed, there is every possibility that it is not new making it prone to faults and breakdown, especially when it is the full electric bed. These beds have motors and other mechanical parts that wear-out. This is not the case when you purchase your own bed, since it will surely come with a warranty. Most of all, when you purchase a new bed, you can choose the latest and greatest brands with the newest technologies, instead of getting whatever is available.

Heavy Duty Full Electric Bed

Savings

When you buy a hospital bed, whether it is the low hospital bed or the manual hospital bed, you end up saving a good deal of money when compared to what you would have spent renting one. You can start by multiplying the rental rate of $200 to $300 times 12 months of the year and compare the result to the price of purchasing a manual hospital bed at less than $600 or the semi electric bed at less than $500.00. You can also buy brand new mattresses for as low as $130.00 for the beds.

With that line of reasoning, it seems impractical to rent a hospital bed for any length of time. Buying your hospital bed seems the viable long-term option solution.

References:

http://www.articlesbase.com/disabilities-articles/hospital-bed-rental-3-important-things-that-you-must-know-before-spending-a-single-dime-2603763.html

http://www.hospitalbeds.org.uk/

Bed Rails for the Elderly

We all know that just like children, our elders need all the love, attention, and care that we can give them. At night when everyone is fast asleep, we tend to forget that the elderly especially those sleeping in high beds, have dangers of falling over during their sleep, so one of the best ways to avoid this is to install bed side rails.

Bed rails for the elderly are used both as a support and as a safety device. The bed rails are used to support elders, to help them sit and stand upright as they stay beside their beds. It is also used as a safety feature to avoid the elders from falling off of the bed during their sleep.

Hospital Bed Rail Invacare

Hospital Bed Rail

How to pick bed side rails for seniors:

Getting your bed side rails installed is the easy part; the hard part comes in picking which one to get. Here are some things to remember when picking bed rails.

Bed Size matters – When buying your bed rails, always make sure that you emphasize to the sales person whether you’re using a king, a queen, or a single bed. The length of the bed is also important so that you know which bed rails are suitable for your bed.

Easy to use – Try getting the collapsible rails which are similar to the hospital bed rails. They make it easier to transfer the patient from one bed to another and can easily be lowered down in case the patient wants to get out of the bed.

Bed Handles Adjustable Bedside Rail.

Bed rail length – When buying, you will encounter three types of bed rails: the full bed rails, the half bed rails, and the short bed rails. The bed rail length must match with the size of your bed.

And last but not the least, these bed rails should also be installed correctly for it to serve its purpose properly and for it to last longer.

How to Prevent Bed Sores

Are you among those people who are completely immobile as a result of age, medical conditions or injuries sustained as a result of an accident? If your answer is yes, then it is necessary that you or your caregiver know how to prevent bed sores.

Since your immobility could be long term, the decision concerning the type of long term care bed you will use and other factors will help prevent suffering from bed sores which are associated with extended confinement to bed.

First, you should know that bed sores are those pressure sores that spring up on various parts of your body as a result of that area of the skin being subjected to stress through extended periods of immobility and minimal repositioning.

Being confined to a bed is not something that does not need further complication by allowing cases of bed sores to arise. The following tips on how to prevent bed sores are geared towards helping you suffer from little or no bed sores while confined to your bed. They are:

Positioning:

While confined to a bed, it is necessary that you don’t stay in a particular position for a long period. This is where the Alpha II Long Term Care Bed comes in. With this type of LTC full electric bed that is fitted with multiple positioning functions, it is goodbye to bed sores.

It has a function that positions it in a recliner style and another that positions it in the lounge chair style which helps you to achieve comfort while resting in different positions. The low height makes it convenient for your caregiver to give you all the due attention you deserve.

Inspections:

Inspections should be carried out frequently to determine those areas of the body that comes frequently in contact with the bed and the patient’s position changed regularly to avoid the break out of any bed sores.

This particular tip on how to prevent bed sores is easier to follow when long term care beds like the Zenith Z3 is used. This type of bed is designed to make it convenient for caregivers to conveniently inspect and adjust a patient’s position without the risk of suffering injuries, either by the caregivers or the patient.

Nutrition:

If as a bed ridden patient you are placed on good nutritional diet, it goes a long way to prevent or minimize chances of development of bed sores. With this and the right long term care bed, you stand the chance of recovering from your medical condition without experiencing any form of bed sores.

With these few tips on how to prevent bed sores, you are sure to forestall any break out of bed sores both for yourself and your loved ones, especially if on long term care.

References:

http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Bed-Sores

http://www.ehow.com/how_13176_prevent-bedsores.html

http://www.superarticledirectory.com/Art/356164/46/How-to-Prevent-Bed-Sores.html

Bariatric Shopping Made Easy

Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity. In 2007, three states had more than 30% of their populations categorized as obese. If these trends continue, the world of Bariatrics will be very commonplace. In the diagram below, you can see how the United States has moved closer toward obesity.

Obesity in the United States from 1985 to 2007

Obesity in the United States from 1985 to 2007

People who suffer complications from disabilities can be doubly challenged when they are also Bariatric patients. Obesity has been linked to everything from poor mobility and back pain to congestive heart failure, infertility, stroke, and cancer. A lot of things that others may take for granted are even more difficult for Bariatric Patients.

There are several categories of products engineered specifically for Bariatric Patients:

Bathroom Assist

Drive Medical Bariatric Transfer Bench

Drive Medical Bariatric Transfer Bench

Bariatric Hospital Beds

KCI BariKare Bariatric Hospital Bed

KCI BariKare Bariatric Hospital Bed

Patient Lifts & Trapeze Equipment

Hoyer Presence Professional Patient Lift

Hoyer Presence Professional Patient Lift

Walkers-Crutches-Rollators

Drivie Medical Winnie Walker Bariatric Rollator

Drive Medical Go-Lite Bariatric Steel Rollator

Wheelchairs & Scooters

Drive Medical Sentra Bariatric Extra Wide Dual Axle Wheelchair

Drive Medical Sentra Bariatric Extra Wide Dual Axle Wheelchair

When you are looking for Bariatric Products, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

1. Get the size you need. Bariatric items are typically more expensive than regular items but they are built to heavy duty standards.B e sure that you check the weight capacity and measurements so you know the item will fit the patient.

2. Check the product warranties. Make sure that you understand what is covered under the manufacturers warranty. It’s a good sign when the warranty specifically covers welds.

3. Buy from a reputable company. Vitality Medical only carries products manufactured by the top medical manufacturers. You will recognize names like Drive Medical and Invacare . Vitality Medical is a very dependable company that sells goods from other very reliable, passing it’s tenth year in business.

For 9 years, at Vitality Medical, we have delivered on our promise to sell top quality medical supplies at the best prices on the Web.

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.

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

Joerns 530 Hospital Bed Package

The Home Care Need is Growing

When a patient needs care, there are several options available. Hospital Care is the most comprehensive and the most expensive. A Nursing Facility is less expensive and can handle most medical needs short of surgery, and Home Care can be the least expensive but usually requires more work from a relative who is the primary caregiver. If you choose to care for your family in your home, a Hospital Bed could be one of the most valuable investments you can make.

Skilled Nursing Facilities have been decreasing since it’s peak in the mid 90’s. People are getting healthier. When people are sick, they are cared for in the home more often than they were in the past. The 2004 Caregiving in the U.S. survey, sponsored by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, documented the prevalence of caregiving in the US. The study found that more than one in five US households are informal caregivers which are persons older than age 18. The typical caregiver is a 46 year old woman with at least some college experience who provides more than 20 hours of care each week to her mother.

At Vitality Medical, we have helped hundreds of people select the right Hospital Bed.

Why Buy Instead of Rent?

There are several places where one may rent a Hospital Bed. They may fulfill your needs if those needs include a brief 1-2 month rental. But for the long term, you may be money ahead in purchasing a new Patient Bed. When you buy, instead of rent, there are several advantages. Here are four:

  1. Your bed is new.
  2. You own an asset that is resalable.
  3. You save money in the long run versus renting.
  4. You get the features you want instead of just what is available.

It’s New– Although a rental agency would probably repair any breakdowns in the motors or some other part, the likelihood of a new bed breaking down is significantly less than a used rental Hospital Bed. And no repairs means no inconvenience. The new beds have their full warranties available and new technologies applied to increase their durability. If you find yourself stuck in a rental bed, because of your insurance or for some other reason, do yourself a favor and at least buy a clean new mattress for the bed.

You Own– The Hospital Bed is a commodity in increasing demand. The number of people in a nursing home type of care facility is decreasing and has been since it’s peak in the mid 90’s. There are approximately 7.6 million individuals currently receiving care in a hospital bed from 83,000 providers because of acute illness, long-term health conditions, permanent disability, or terminal illness. Once you don’t need it, most people can quickly and easily sell their hospital bed using an online service like craigslist.

You Save– An initial month’s Full Electric Hospital Bed rent is between $225 and $350. The first month includes the set-up. The ongoing monthly rental is $200-$300. The last month’s rental is more to allow for pick-up, also between $225-$350. Since Vitality Medical does not rent hospital beds, we can estimate a year’s worth of bed rental at the high end-$3,700. Or, if you are lucky, on the low end you can rent for $2,450-ouch! The Invacare Semi Electric Hospital Bed Value Package with Therapeutic Mattress is only $880.16 (on 1/21/2010); so the savings with a basic bed is obvious.

You Get– Often when people attempt to rent a Hospital Bed they are told that there are none currently available. Often rental hospital beds are scarce. So the other big advantage of buying over renting is actually getting a hospital bed when you need it and getting all the features you want. Rentals often allow you only what is available at the time.

Graham-Field Patriot Semi-Electric Bed

Graham-Field Patriot Semi-Electric Bed

And speaking of Hospital Bed features, there are several different Hospital Bed configurations and options to choose from including Manual Hospital Beds. In next months blog, I will highlight the different features to consider when choosing a hospital bed for your home.

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.