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Hospital Beds

What Type of Hospital Bed is Best?

If you need to purchase or rent a hospital bed you will undoubtedly face a bewildering array of choices. Here is some advice to help in the selection process of the right hospital bed.

First of all, it is very important to follow the recommendations from your care team. This includes Doctors, Nurses, Physical Therapists, and Occupational Therapists. Their recommendations will depend on a patient's needs and their condition. The choice of hospital bed will also depend on who will be assisting the patient; a trained medical professional will need different functions than a family caregiver, or elderly spouse.

Hospital beds vary by their frames, their mattresses and their accessories. Hospital bed frames are electric, semi-electric or manual. Semi-electric beds usually allow electric control of head and foot positioning but use manual controls for bed height. The more manual controls a bed has, the less expensive it will be. However, electric beds allow for easier adjustment, and are therefore the preferred option for patients who are not mobile.

Tips for selecting a Hospital Bed

When selecting a bed, be sure to measure all doorways and stairways in the home. Also measure the dimensions of the bed. When you have done the measurements make sure there is at least one clear route to bring the bed into the home. Make sure that you also remember to make sure there is enough clearance underneath the bed for any hoists or bed tables that may need to go under the bed.

It is generally best to place a hospital bed on the main floor of a home that the person using the bed will be living on for the majority of the day. This helps save too many trips up and down stairs. This is especially important if the caregiver is elderly. When purchasing a medical bed, the best plan is to set it up on the main floor, so caregivers can reach it quickly. Being on the main floor also helps the patient to feel less isolated.

If the bed is electric or semi-electric, make sure there is an appropriate electrical outlet nearby.

It is generally advisable that when deciding where to place the hospital bed in a room you make sure that access to both sides of the bed is possible. This enables care givers to have access to their patient.

Once the person is placed in the bed, follow all care instructions. Make sure the person is turned and all bedding is changed according to schedule. Keep all bedding wrinkle free in order to prevent bed sores.

If the person can leave the bed on his or her own, be sure to always have the bed in its lowest position. In that case, if the person rolls out of bed, there is less chance of injury.

Types of Mattresses

The Choice of mattress will be made in accordance to specific need of the patient and the type of bed they are using. Among the many types of mattresses available are:
  • Foam - helps prevent pressure sores and helps relieve pain.
  • Air - also helps prevent pressure sores. However, air mattresses should not be used if the person's spine is not stable.
  • Pulmonary mattress - these mattresses have a variety of functions to help those with poor lung function. These functions include pressure relief, lateral rotation and vibration, which all assist with breathing function.

Hospital Bed Rails

There are many accessories available for hospital beds, including bed trays, bed rails, trapeze stands and IV stands. There are also bariatric beds and mattresses specifically designed for severely overweight people.

People who are restless or who are mentally handicapped, whether because of medication or because of another reason, need to be protected from getting their head trapped in the side rails. When the bed is installed, make sure the rails are correctly installed and there are no significant gaps between the side rails and the mattress. In some cases the rails may need to be lowered and the bed lowered to the floor. This can be done with special low profile beds.

Rent a Hospital Bed

There are many companies that offer hospital beds and mattresses and prices vary widely, depending on what is needed. Many people prefer to rent a hospital bed because of the uncertainty of the patient's condition. One option is to rent the bed at first, then buy it when it becomes clear that the situation will last for many months or years.

Purchasing or renting a hospital bed is not an easy decision. However, with the right bed, the patient will be able to get the appropriate care in the comfort of his or her own home.

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