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Uses and care of Hospital Bed Accessories

Bed accessories are equipment and articles used in making special types of beds and used for offering care to patients in bed.

Hot Water Bottle

This is a rubber bottle filed with hot water to provide warmth to the patient.


1. To give warmth to the body
2. To reduce inflammation
3. To promote healing
4. To relieve pain

How to care for hot water bottle
1. Always inspect for holes and pricks before filling and make sure to get them fixed if any.
2. After every use, empty the hot water bottle and clean with savlon 1% after use.
3. Dry and store after cleaning.

Bed Cradles

These are wooden or metal frames used to lift weight of bed clothes from the patient.

1. Drying of wet plaster of Paris (P.O.P)
2. Electronic bed cradles are used to supply the desired warm in case of shock.
3. Viewing of parts of body. Example, bleeding stump after amputation.
4. To prevent sheet from coming into contact with patient's body, especially in burns.

Elbow or Heel Ring

This is a small ring similar to the one used in preventing pressure sores. It provides elevated support for feet and ankle, and also is ideal for post-operative rehabilitation.

Air Cushion

These are inflatable material made with rubber which is meant to take off the weight of body. They should be covered while in use to avoid direct contact with the body of clients.


1. Promote comfort of client
2. Relieve pressure on certain parts of the body.

Mackintosh/waterproof sheet

Any obliquely shaped water proof material put either on mattress to protect the bottom sheet from soiling or wetting. Example, in cases of incontinence or during vaginal examination. It is also used to protect pillows. Example, in cases of bleeding and vomiting.

How to care for mackintosh
1. If the mackintosh is stained with discharge or blood, immerse the whole mackintosh in parazone for 10 minutes.
2. Take it out and wash with soap and water.
3. Mob dry or hang to dry
4. Powder, roll and store.

Water, Air or Ripple Bed

Different types of mattresses are made to provide the utmost benefits to patients with certain conditions.These mattresses are used to prevent pressure sores especially in emaciated or paralyzed patients, improve circulation, and provide comfort.

How to care for these beds
1. Deflate the bed.
2. If stained with blood or discharges, decontaminate with parazone.
3. Wash with soap and water.
4. Dry, powder and store or inflate ready for use.

Sand Bags

This is a strong thick material of various shapes and sizes filled with smooth sand and is used to maintain the position of a patient.

1. It is used to support body parts.
2. It is used to immobilize body parts.
3. It is used to support fractured bones.
4. To relieve discomfort
5. To prevent foot or wrist drop.

How to care for Sand Bags
1. When dirty, open up the bag and empty completely.
2. Wash back with soap and water.
3. Dry, iron and refill with smooth sand.
4. Sew end firmly and keep in cupboard ready for next use.

Bed/Heart/Cardiac Table

It is made of metal or wood put in front of patient for meals, medication, or with pillows for patient to lean forward on to ease difficulty in breathing.

1. For serving food and other self care activities.
2. This can be used for writing purpose.
3. Used by cardiac patient’s who can lean forward with a pillow.

How to care for Bed Tables
1. Clean with savlon, dry and oil wheels if necessary.

Bed Rest

It is a type of wooden or metal adjustable framework or bed attachment, used in helping patient to sit upright in bed. Example to ease difficulty in breathing. Most beds these days can be elevated for the same purpose.

1. To support back
2. It provides elevation for improved circulation and breathing to heart and asthma patients.

How to care for Bed Rest
1. Clean item with 1% savlon, dry and lubricate joints of materials if necessary and store for use.

Foot Rest

It is a small piece of wood (could be made of other materials) fitted at the foot end of the bed to support the feet in order to prevent foot drop.


1. To maintain the normal position of feet
2. To promote comfort.
3. To prevent foot drop.

How to care for foot rest
1. Clean with hibitane (or available disinfectant) and store for next use.


These are made of glass, stainless steel or plastic (some plastics are disposable).

How to care for Urinal
1. Disinfect with appropriate disinfectant.
2. Discard disposable ones.
3. Scrub with vim and wash with soap and water.
4. Rinse, dry and store on shelve or rack ready for next use.

Bed Pans

Bed pans are made of stainless steel, enamel, plastic or disposable material used for collecting stool from patient.

How to care for Bed Pans
1. Disinfect with appropriate disinfectant (preferably parazone).
2. Scrub with vim and wash with soap and water.
3. Rinse, dry and store on shelve or rack ready for use.

Bed Lockers

It is made of wooden or metallic material for keeping patients’ personal belongings. Example, provisions and toilet articles. (It is advised to ask patient to take valuables such as expensive necklaces, watches etc. home). It enables patient to contact the nurse if it has a call bell on it.

How to care for Bed Side Lockers
1. Dump dust lockers with a disinfectant.
2. Wash bed locker when (if movable) excessively dusty or soiled with secretions or blood.

Extra Pillows

Pillows are used to give comfortable position to the patient. These are mostly used to support various body parts.
1. Help to reduce pressure.
2. To maintain proper body alignment.
3. It is used to support head, neck arms, legs and parts of the back.
4. It can be folded, rolled or tucked firmly against the body to maintain position.

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