History Of Medical Beds

Medical beds have been used in hospitals and care homes for many years and are now becoming a more and more regular feature in people’s homes, whether they are ill or not.  As medical beds offer such tremendous levels of comfort – the most advanced models even have massage features – many people have opted to invest in such a bed so they are able to have a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

The History of Medical Beds

The history of medical beds can be dated back in the United Kingdom to around 1815, when beds with an adjustable side rail first started appearing in hospitals.  These were widely used by 1825.  The history of medical beds as we know them today, however, starts with the patent place in 1874 by Andrew Wuest and Son, from Cincinnati in Ohio.  They patented a mattress that had a hinged head rest, which could be raised.  This is the true predecessor of the medical bed as we know them today.

In 1945, the history of medical beds further developed into beds with remote controls.  These beds – known as push button medical beds – were originally designed to incorporate a toilet, so that bed pans would no longer be necessary.

Features of Modern Adjustable Beds

The history of medical beds shows a development into the beds they are today.  The most common features of modern adjustable beds include:

  • Wheels, to allow the hospital bed to be moved.  Of course, for safety reasons, these wheels can be locked when there is no need for the bed to be moved.
  • The ability to raise and lower the bed itself, so that patients can get in and out of bed safely, as well as taking into consideration the health and safety of the carers.
  • Adjustable positions for the head, feet, hips and knees.  These are the main benefits of medical beds, as they allow the patient to be positioned in such a way that they achieve maximum levels of comfort.
  • Side rails.  These are an essential feature on medical beds and have been around since the start of history of medical beds.  They protect the patient from falling out of bed, as well as making them feel more secure themselves.  They are also useful tools to hang essential items onto, such as the remote control for the bed and the call out button for the nurse.

Disadvantages of Medical Beds

There are some disadvantages to medical beds as well with the main one being the cost.  Although medical beds can be purchased by private users, those that are used in hospitals need to conform to very stringent features and can be incredibly costly.

There are some health issues as well, and it has been shown that the spine of a patient can become more rounded, particularly when a patient sits up regularly and slips down.  There have been some issues around the safety of hospital beds as well, with some horror stories including a three year old girl that was crushed to death by a medical bed and an 11 year old boy who was strangled to death by such a bed.

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History Of Medical Beds