History of the hospital bed
The hospital bed is specifically designed for individuals who require some form of medical care. These beds have special features for both the comfort and well-being of the patient and the convenience of healthcare professionals. Common features include adjustable height for the entire bed, separately head and foot ends, adjustable side rails, medical rails, medical consoles and electronic buttons to control the bed and nearby electronic devices.
Hospital beds are used not only in hospitals, but also in other institutions such as nursing homes, in home treatment of bedridden patients.
Beds with adjustable side railings first appeared in England between 1815 and 1825.
In Bath, England, the Sedan chair was invented in the 17th century, initially to transport wealthy citizens to and from the baths (which gave the town its name). Later it was also used to transport the sick.
In 1874, the Andrew West Mattress Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, registered a patent for mattress frames with a hinged head end.
The modern three-segment hospital bed was invented by Willis Dew Gatch, dean of surgery at Indiana University, in the early 20th century. This type of bed is sometimes called a Gatch Bed: the three segments – legs-body-head – had control levers to change height and position in relation to each other.
The modern hospital bed with control levers was designed in 1945, originally incorporating a built-in duck.
But the history of creation is, of course, a little more complicated. The shape of the bed for the sick has been modified since the Middle Ages. To prevent bed sores, pillows were placed under the sacrum, or hollows were made in the bed. Back in Ancient Greece there were stretchers for bedridden patients, which, if necessary, also performed the functions of a bed: two supports, with a strip of cloth stretched between them and straps to fix the patient, requiring two porters. Such designs were used in ancient Egypt and ancient Rome.
Features of a modern hospital bed: wheels for increased mobility with built-in braking system and locking; levers for changing the level of the whole bed or its individual ends – manual or electronic; lowering side rails and medical rails (to protect the patient from falling, in addition, they can be built in control panels for oxygen concentrator, other gas support systems).
A hospital bed can cost more than $100,000, given the built-in life support systems, but there are cheaper models with the same features.