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Choosing the Right Hospital Bed

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Choosing the Right Hospital Bed


 

How are you going to decide which hospital bed you actually want? There are a whole lot of them out there and deciding which is the best can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe you really like the ones you've seen at other facilities or the one your loved one had at the hospital. Maybe you think there could be better options out there. Well, the truth is there are all kinds of different beds and it's going to be up to you to decide which one will fit your needs, and your patients needs, the best.

 


Hospital Bed Types



First, there are different types of hospital beds that you should know at least a little about before you decide to purchase anything. While all hospital beds have side rails of some type and an articulating frame, they might not share all of the other characteristics that you might associate with a hospital bed. So, you want to take a look at what the needs are of your patient and then make sure you choose the right type that will help them get where they need to go, with your assistance of course.

 

Fixed-Height – These hospital beds are just what you might think. They don't allow you to raise or lower the bed. If you have a patient who is able to get up or down from a standard bed relatively well then this might be an acceptable option. It does allow you to adjust the head positioning and the leg positioning, which means it can be good for those who have recently had a surgery and need different parts of the body to be elevated. It's not a good idea if your patient requires a great deal of caregiver assistance as the caregiver will need to bend over quite a bit.

 

Variable-Height – A variable-height hospital bed gives you the freedom to raise and lower the entire bed as well as raising and lowering the head and feet positions. This can be good for patients who need more assistance as it allows the caregiver to get them up and out of the bed or to reposition them in bed without having to bend over as much. These beds can also make it easier for the patient to get in and out of bed themselves by raising the bed to a comfortable position for them to stand or sit on the edge of it.

 

Manual – A manual hospital bed isn't going to give you any electronic components. These are going to be the least expensive of all of the options, but they can be the most hassle as well. You'll use a hand crank in order to adjust the head and foot positions. If your patient doesn't need to be moved frequently then this might be acceptable, however they often don't allow for adjustments of height, which can be difficult for patients who need to be helped into and out of their bed. Still, they can help to cut costs.

 

Electric – An electric hospital bed is one that offers electronic controls for all of the movements that the bed can perform. These are the ones that offer the most comfort and freedom for the patient and the caregiver because they can be adjusted however they are needed. They are more expensive, however, which can be a bit of a drawback for some patients who don't have as much support through their medical insurance. The key is to think about how well it's going to improve the quality of life for the patient and decide from there.

 


Specialty Hospital Bed Types



When it comes to the different types of hospital beds there are also some that are considered specialized. These are for patients who need something a little different from the standard design and may need a larger bed, a more secure bed or one that can help them in different ways. We're going to talk about the three other types of beds that you may want to consider depending on the patient that you are taking care of and their needs. Each of these beds are also available in types like those we mentioned above.

 

Bariatric – A bariatric hospital bed is one that is slightly wider than a standard bed and also stronger and capable of supporting more weight. These are designed for individuals who are larger or heavier and they provide not only more support throughout the bed but through the mattress as well. They are designed to be more comfortable and to make sure that these patients are also as safe as any other patient would be in their hospital bed. The bed could be approximately 54" x 88" and will generally accommodate up to 1200 pounds.

 

Safety Beds – These are typically used for children, though some may also be available in adult sizes as well. They are designed to keep the patient in their bed at all times and provide rails around all of the sides. This makes sure that the patient can't fall or roll out of their bed. For small children this ensures that they also can't climb out of their bed easily, which reduces the risk of their being injured either falling from the bed or wandering on their own. These beds are great for those who need to remain in their bed and yet who might try to avoid this.

 

Hi-Lo Beds – A low hospital bed will actually lower all the way down to the floor, or at least close to it. They also raise much higher than a traditional bed. The idea is that it's safer for a patient who is a very big fall risk or who has trouble getting up and out of their bed. While these are considered a very specialized option, they can be a good idea in some cases. It's important to talk with your patient and decide what's going to be the best way to prevent them from falling and how they can be best protected while getting into and out of bed.

 

Positioning Features

You'll want to look at what ways you can reposition the patient when you're considering a hospital bed. You want to have as much freedom as possible because this is going to help the patient to be more comfortable. If they're able to move their head and feet into different positions as well as sit more upright or lie flatter this is going to help them feel better and they're going to be more content with sitting or lying in their bed for extended periods. This can also make it easier on the caregiver. Looking for a bed that allows for head and foot movement as well as raising and lowering is definitely a good idea.

 


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