What is a bariatric bed?
With the rise in obesity, the patient handling field has had to make accommodations to make sure that their equipment was up to snuff in order to meet these needs. A bariatric bed is like most hospital beds: it has a steel frame, side rails, and can be positioned for a patient's comfort and mobility, as well as to provide caregiver ease. While most standard ICU beds can bear approximately 500 lbs on average, a bariatric bed is made to bear up to 1000 lbs of weight. It's also larger and wider than the average hospital bed, and reinforced with heavy-duty components to accommodate larger patients.
They also have a greater responsibility in providing patient handling safety for the caregiver, because the more immobile a bariatric patient is, the more dangerous it is for a caregiver to try and position them on their own. This problem is even worse with bariatric home care patients and caregivers, where the caregivers are frequently on their own and bearing sole responsibility for the patient. The more reliant a patient is on the caregiver for mobility and positioning, the higher the risk of injury for the caregiver.
Health concerns in treating bariatric patients are typically much greater compared to the general population, and problems like bed sores and pressure ulcers not only present a very real danger, but can also escalate quickly. Having the right mattress goes a long way in helping avoid bed sores, especially if it provides pressure relief and oversight for respiratory and circulatory problems. Bariatric patients are more likely to develop chronic illness, including cardiac disease, hypertension, respiratory disease, diabetes, skin conditions...etc.
Not only are they more difficult for caregivers to re-position, but simple tasks like changing dressing and hygiene poses a greater risk for caregivers. This can be a problem in something as simple as turning over in their sleep, as many bariatric patients suffer from sleep apnea and excess carbon dioxide buildup in the blood as result.
Why buy the BariMaxx?
1. BARIATRIC MANEUVERABILITY
In general, you can expect that bariatric hospital beds are built with reinforced frames, and are sized larger than regular hospital beds. If regular hospital beds seem difficult to push and maneuver, imagine doing so with an extra 1000 lbs to push around. The BariMaxx is built with power driven assistance for transportation to help move the patient throughout the healthcare facility.
2. ADJUSTABILITY AND OPERABILITY
The easy to use controls make it easy for both patient and caregiver to position the bed. With a bariatric patient, it is especially important that caregivers position bariatric patients with mechanical assistance, as trying to manually move the patient for basic tasks can pose a major risk for both. The easily accessible controls also make it easy for caregivers to check up on the bedreadings quickly and easily, while also preventing unauthorized or unintentional use of bed functions with its lock-out feature.
The adjustability of the width of the bed is particularly important for transporting the patient within the hospital. Being able to narrow it helps move the patient through doorways and around corners, and being able to widen it makes the bed more comfortable for the patient to use.
3. SIDE BED EXIT AND SCALE
The BariMaxx has easy to access and easily maneuverable side rails that slide away to allow for side exits. When treating bariatric patients, it become even more of a priority to have an easy bed exit as most bariatric patients have to be moved with some form of mechanical assistance for the safety of everyone involved. In addition, the scale provides up-to-date and instantaneous updates about the bariatric patient's weight, which is particularly important given the impact of excess body fat on drug absorption. Beyond that, dosage is frequently calculated based on weight, thus the scale and accessiblity is especially important.
When purchasing the BariMaxx, also invest in a proper mattress. A low airloss mattress designed for pressure reduction goes a long way in helping immobile bariatric patients from developing pressure ulcers.
For more information, check out our page about the BariMaxx parts most likely to break.