Hospital Beds and Mattresses

Is the hospital bed a normal bed?

No. Hospital beds have added features, such as side rails to prevent patients from falling out of the bed and the ability to move patients in ways a normal bed cannot. Also, the doctors and nurses often ask for a specialty bed depending upon the needs of a particular patient. Specialty beds provide a variety of options including special mattresses and the ability to turn patients automatically.

Is the bed comfortable?

We hope so. Tell the ICU staff, if the bed is uncomfortable. The manufacturers of the beds invest a lot of time and money designing these beds to make them comfortable and effective.

Is a special bed needed when the patient goes home?

Not usually. This is a question to ask the doctors and nurses.

Does the hospital bed mattress prevent bedsores?

Bedsores (also called decubitus ulcers) are chronic open sores that develop in patients confined to bed or otherwise immobilized. They are caused by constant pressure of the person's weight on the skin. They are usually located below a bone, such as the area of the buttocks above the tailbone or beneath the hips. The mattress alone does not prevent bedsores. Patients still need good nutrition and frequent turning. The ICU staff turns the patient if the patient is unable to turn effectively. In patients at high risk for bedsores, nurses often place another mattress, called an overlay, on top of the bed mattress. This helps avoid the development of bedsores. Even with the best of care and special beds/mattresses, patients may still develop bedsores.

When does a patient need a bed that turns automatically?

Automatically turning beds are useful under certain circumstances. The decision to use one of these specialty beds involves certain risks and benefits to the patient and should be left up to the ICU team caring for the patient. An automatically turning bed is used to improve lung recovery, prevent skin breakdown and prevent lung infections. These beds often turn at sharp angles and may make the patient uncomfortable if the angle is too sharp. The nurses will closely watch to make sure the bed does not cause discomfort.

Special air bed Automatic turning bed