Choosing the right medical bed

A medical bed is a bed specially designed for hospitalized patients or other people requiring care. These beds have special features both for the comfort and well-being of the patient and for the convenience of caregivers. Key features include the adjustable height of the entire bed, head and footboards, side rails and electronic buttons to operate both the bed and other electronic devices situated close by.

While the term “hospital bed” may refer to the bed itself, the term “bed” is also used to describe the space available in a healthcare facility, as the capacity to accommodate the number of patients in the facility is measured in terms of available “beds.”

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  • What are the selection criteria for a medical bed?

    Arjo bariatric bed

    There are two fundamental criteria to be taken into account when choosing a medical bed: the facility or unit in which the bed will be installed, and the type of patient who will be bedridden.

    Medical beds can be used for the following facilities or units:

    When choosing a medical bed, it is important to look at the type of patient the bed will need to accommodate:

  • What options are available for a hospital bed?

    Wissner-bosserhoff ultra-low bed

    There are several options available for a hospital bed. These can be related to the comfort of the patient and the caregivers, as well as ease of transport, safety, etc. Depending on the reason why the patient is bedridden, you will need to check the availability of the options below.

    • Patient comfort: Several elements are important to accommodate patient positioning and comfort. These can include for example:
      • The number of sections
      • Tilting and reclining options: Trendelenburg, Reverse Trendelenburg, sitting position, etc.
      • A leg rest
      • The height of the bed: an ultra-low bed can, for example, make it easier for the patient to move around.
    • Ergonomics for the caregiver: The comfort of the caregiver is also important and ergonomics can be improved with options such as:

    Favero electric bed

    • Ease of transport: the bed can offer several options for transporting patients easily between different hospital units:
      • On casters
      • Pedals accessible from either side of the bed to activate and deactivate the brakes
      • Motorized
    • Patient safety: to enhance patient safety and prevent falls, the bed can come with the following options:
      • Removable bed rails
      • Safety alarms if the bed is empty
      • Ultra-low to prevent serious falls
      • CPR mode which allows, with a single button, to put the bed in horizontal position for resuscitation.
    • Budget: the budget will obviously depend on the choice of bed and options according to your required use. Manual beds are cheaper than electric beds for example and may be suitable for patients who do not require many changes in position. Semi-electric beds can be a middle ground solution.
  • How to choose a bed for homecare?

    MMO+ homecare bed

    Homecare beds do not always require the same features as hospital beds. For example, more attention can be paid to the comfort and design. The important points to consider when choosing and purchasing a homecare bed are:

    • Ease of use: some features make everyday use easier, such as electric tilting, easy backrest tilting, quick disassembly, etc.
    • Modularity: you can choose a model with removable bed panels, clip-on bed rails, etc.
    • Attractive design: in order for the bed to adapt to the style of the bedroom, manufacturers offer different models for further personalization, such as wooden finishes.
    • Size: the dimensions of the bed and whether it has a single or double bed base are essential elements to take into account. The rule of thumb is to always choose a bed base that is longer than the patient’s height.
  • What type of mattress should I choose for a medical bed?

    Arjo Anti-decubitus mattress

    There are a number of characteristics to consider when choosing a hospital bed mattress, such as flexibility, thickness and whether it is washable or prevents bedsores.

    • Flexibility: The key is to choose a mattress that is flexible enough to adapt to the many movements of the sections of the box spring.
    • Thickness: the thickness of the mattress will impact the patient’s comfort. If the patient has to spend more than 12 hours in bed a day, it is preferable to invest in a thick and comfortable mattress.
    • Washable: the mattress must be easily washable. For incontinent patients, a mattress with an antimicrobial mattress cover is essential. It is also best to look for a mattress and cover that are waterproof and stain-resistant.
    • Anti-decubitus: some mattresses are designed to prevent bedsores and are made of visco-elastic foam or inflatable pads. They distribute the weight evenly and adapt to changes in weight and pressure in different parts of the body, in this way preventing pressure sores. Inflatable bubble mattresses use an air pump that automatically regulates the pressure inside the mattress.
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