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What Is a Hospital Bed Pad?

Article Details
  • Written By: Jillian O Keeffe
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Hospital bed pads generally lie on top of a mattress, or performs a specific function. Typically, a hospital bed pad has to be easily cleaned and comfortable for the patient, as ill people can spend a lot of time in bed. A hospital bed pad may be light weight for ease of use, and may have special antibacterial coatings or those which are breathable for the comfort of the patient. These can be washable and reusable, or they may be disposable.

Incontinence is a major reason why removable bed pads are useful for practical reasons in a hospital environment. To help deal with liquid spillages and other accidents, a hospital bed pad specifically for incontinent patients should be easily washable. Another common feature is that the material of the pad is breathable, so the patient does experiences as little wetting as possible while waiting for a nurse to replace the pad. Often, the bed pad is also made from a quick-drying material, which helps speed up the laundry regime in a hospital, when staff may be busy.

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Another situation where a hospital bed pad can be a practical and comfortable option is childbirth. Giving birth is not a clean and dry process and typically bodily fluids are expelled along with the baby. In addition, after the birth, a baby may be placed in a crib on top of a specialized baby bed pad, which can be washed and sanitized. Trolleys and stretchers are other pieces of hospital equipment which may be covered in a hospital bed pad to give the patient lying on the some comfort, especially if the wards are busy and the patient has to wait for admission to a proper bed.

Operating tables also need to be covered in a bed pad to avoid pain and discomfort for the person undergoing the operation. A hospital bed pad can also be used to transfer the patient onto the table from a mobile trolley. One of the most important issues with regard to bed pads in the operating room, and in a hospital in general, is that staff can wash and sanitize it for the next use. Alternatively, a disposable bed pad system can be used, but this may be expensive as the bed pads need to be continually replaced. To reduce the risk of infectious organisms being transmitted from person to person, or from patient to nurse, some bed pads are manufactured with an antibacterial component to discourage bacterial replication.

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