A good bariatric bed has certain qualities and is manufactured to a high standard. Like all bariatric medical equipment,there are several supplies in America who can provide hospitals, healthcare institutions like day surgeries and individuals with a bariatric bed suited to their needs.
Bariatric patients often require specialised beds in order to support their frame, enable access, let nursing staff move the bariatric patient, and to provide comfort for bed-ridden bariatric patients recovering from illness or surgery.
Normal beds are usually insufficient for bariatric patients. Standard ‘home’ beds are not designed for the concentrated, long-term weight of a bariatric sufferer and may have structural issues that are not apparent at first glimpse. There are a large amount of injuries that happen when bariatric patients get into bed, particularly if they do so rapidly or without caution. Bedsprings can collapse or ‘punch through’ a mattress, causing severe injury, or the bedframe itself can collapse. This is particularly dangerous because a bariatric patient can become enmeshed in a collapsed bed and unable to free themselves.
One advantage of the sort of bariatric bed used in hospitals is that they can make looking after a bariatric patient more efficient. Most technologically advanced bariatric beds suspend a bariatric patient on air cushions which can be individually raised and lowered by the patient or a nurse. This means that a patient can constantly shift the points of pressure on their frame, helping manage bed sores. It can also make helping clean, inspect and turn bariatric patients more dignified and safe for all parties concerned.
One of the downsides to purchasing a bariatric bed, especially for private use, is that they can be very expensive. Hospitals often offset this cost by charging more than standard for the care of bariatric patients, which is understandable when one thinks that specially trained staff and equipment must be purchased for them. However, often only the very wealthy are able to purchase bariatric equipment to ease their lifestyle problems outside of professional care.
This expense means that often in their own private homes, bariatric patients must revert to using standardised equipment, which as I’ve highlighted in other articles, can be both dangerous and unhealthy in the long term. One small upside to the massive increase in obesity is that bariatric equipment is a burgeoning market worldwide, and with an increase in consumption will inevitably come competition and a decrease in cost.
Do not, either as an administrator or as a private citizen, be tempted to cut corners when purchasing bariatric equipment. As an obesity expert and consultant, I know how tight budgets can be, especially when facing unsympathetic bureaucrats. Be strong! Quality, technologically smart bariatric equipment will pay for itself over time. If possible, get the most ‘future-friendly’ versions so that as medical technology continues to grow in pace and complexity, more and more patient care can be automated or managed electronically.