Uses and care of 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.

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 dry.

Bed Cradles

These are wooden or metal frames used to lift weight of bed clothes from the patient. It is also used for:
1.        Drying of wet plaster of Paris (P.O.P)
2.      Viewing of parts of body. Example, bleeding stump after amputation.

How to care for hot water bottles

1.        Clean with savlon 1% after use. Savlon is also a disinfectant.
2.      Dry and store after cleaning.

Elbow or Heel Ring

This is a small ring similar to the one used in preventing pressure sores.

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 1:10 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

This is a type of mattress made of water proof sheet filled with water or air. It is put on the bed to prevent pressure sores especially in emaciated or paralyzed patients.

How to care for these beds

1.        Deflate the bed.
2.      If stained with blood or discharges, decontaminate with parazone 1:10.
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.

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.

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.

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 fitted at the foot end of the bed to support the feet in order to prevent foot drop.

How to care for foot rest

1.        Clean with hibitane (or available disinfectant) 1 in 1000 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 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.

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