Hospital beds are used in homes, hospitals, and nursing homes to allow sick, injured, or elderly bedridden individuals to rest comfortably. There is no one size fits all bed type and each person’s situation needs a particular type of bed and some even require mattress customization as well. This guide examines the different types of hospital beds which are sold today, things to look for when deciding on a hospital bed, and how to buy a hospital bed with confidence.
Hospital beds have been in use since the year 1815 and those first beds were flat and had no rails, adjustments, or special supports. Today, there are a variety of hospital beds which offer fully customizable positioning, wheels for moving, side rails for patient security, and elevation settings to accommodate medical personnel. The following chart gives an overview of each type of hospital bed in use in healthcare facilities today as well as the intended uses.
Hospital Bed Options to Consider
In addition to the type of adjustments a hospital bed offers, one should also consider the type of mattress which will be used with the frame and also the proper mattress cover to use to conform to a particular healthcare situation. The following sections discuss the different types of mattresses and covers as well as their intended uses.
Hospital Bed Mattress Choices
Hospital beds such as the Clinitron and the low air loss beds need special mattresses in order for them to do their jobs correctly, and these mattresses cannot be replaced with any other type of mattress. The Clinitron is filled with a sand-like material to accommodate burn victims with skin grafts and patients who have or are susceptible to bed sores and pressure points. The low air loss bed works similarly to the Clinitron except that the mattress is filled with air instead of sand and it helps keep patients cool and dry and reduces pressure on the skin.
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The other two types of mattresses which are used with hospital beds are foam and innerspring. Foam mattresses are made from neoprene and polyurethane and are the more versatile type of the two. Foam mattresses can easily conform to multiple adjustment positions without deforming the foam or causing warp. These mattresses are used with the circo-electric, stretcher, and electric type beds.
Innerspring mattresses offer full body support and are commonly used with Gatch beds. Since this bed type is adjustable with hand cranks, there is less dramatic adjustment at any one time and the innersprings have less of a chance to warp like they would if used with electric hospital beds or those like the stretcher which are constantly being adjusted to accommodate different patients.
Whether one needs a Clinitron bed for a burn victim or a Gatch bed for home healthcare needs, there are many beds listed for sale every day on sites like eBay. Armed with the information contained in the guide as well as an analysis of a patient or loved one’s needs, the correct hospital bed can be purchased and put into use immediately.