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Thread: Beds

  1. #1
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    Beds

    Hi. First post. Hope this is an ok topic. My wife is coming home after 3 months hospital and rehab. She has pain issues - arthritis and presumably from the laminectomy that was done to remove an epidural abscess in the T5 - T9 area. She is pretty mobile, can take steps with assistance. But core strength not great. Lots of back pain. They are sending us a generic hospital bed with a mattress with gel overlay. We have no way to know how or whether to upgrade. Does anybody know mattresses? Can anybody make recommendations? I am thinking we need to just take what they give us and educate ourselves as we go along. This system really sucks and I feel like suppliers take advantage of your lack of knowledge. Worried my wife will be in pain.

  2. #2
    Manual (crank) hospital bed frame or semi-electric or full electric? What brand, do you know?
    Who ordered this bed for your wife??
    What kind of mattress has she been on in the rehab center?
    Can she turn herself? Transfer to the wheelchair and bed?
    What is her actual neurologic level of injury (is she subject to autonomic dysreflexia)?
    How does she manage her bladder (self intermittent cath for females is easiest to do in bed)?
    How old is she (older people are more at risk for pressure injuries than younger people)?
    What is her insurance coverage?

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
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    Fully electric bed, the ugly metal headboard sort of bed. Ordered first time by the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. Then cancelled because they discharged her to a SNF. Now the SNF ordered it. She has been on a bed with an air filled circulating sort of mattress. She can turn herself. She transfers with help from wheelchair to bed and vice versa. Help as in holding a gait belt or giving her a little support w the belt. I am new to this but I believe her injury is T5 - T9. It was caused by epidural abscess. I know this means she is subject to autonomic dysteflexia. She is voiding ok, no catheter, but has been going in her diaper at night due to pain and mobility issues. She is 63. She has blue cross/blue shield. She walked 209 feet with the walker today with 2 breaks. I pushed the wheelchair behind her and the PT held her gait belt.

  4. #4
    She will probably do OK with the mattress and gel overlay, although I am not a fan of these, and many people find gel cold and uncomfortable. A good quality high density foam overlay like a Geomatt or Biogard AFT (NOT an "eggcrate") would actually be better from a comfort and pressure reduction standpoint, but the life expectancy on these is less than 6 months and they then need to be replaced.

    I suspect you may be getting an Invacare homecare hospital bed frame, which is the most widely used. It has a downside of not going very close to the floor in the low position, which can make transfers to/from wheelchair more difficult, but if she does a standing pivot transfer that may be acceptable. The other problem with this bed frame is that it has a spring deck, instead of a solid or rigid deck. This lets the mattress sag and provides less support for transfers and turning independently.

    You may want to consider purchase of your own adjustable (non-hospital) bed as an alternative, if you can afford that, and if you have space in your bedroom. A dual California King is nice, as you can each adjust your own, but most of these don't have a high/low function. It also has the advantage of letting you share the same bed, if that is important for you as a married couple.

    Has she tried the use of a female urinal in bed instead of using diapers?

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  5. #5
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    Thank you so much. I am so overwhelmed. We are not emotionally strong people. We need as much support as possible. What is a female urinal? She has been using a small flatter bedpan type of thing.

  6. #6
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    Sorry to keep posting but the company delivering the bed referred us to Medline.com to look at alternative mattresses. How would anyone be able to tell one mattress from another? Are there and beds anyone can recommend in case we need to shop around for a different mattress for the hospital bed?

  7. #7
    Medline is one of the cheaper DME manufacturers and I am not impressed with their mattresses, but from their website, I would go with one of the Theratech line mattresses if you have no other options. https://www.medline.com/category/Mat...Z05-CA12_02_06

    This is a female urinal. There are a number of different versions of these available: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Plas...0746GK885?th=1

    Where did she go for rehab?? They should have provided much more patient education and better discharge planning for these issues. Is she getting outpatient care through this same rehab center?

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  8. #8
    I doubt this helps but my first hospital bed had guess like posted above a spring stretched between bed frame, not good for sitting on side of bed nore sliding around to side of bed. It had just plain hospital mattress that later due to skin a alternating air overlay and after surgery a ROHO.
    I had acouple different since then currently, I'm guessing since 10 year old was cheapest at that time total electric Drive with solid deck. Much better with sliding around on bed to get up and with trapeze I can get sitting up on my own and raise/lower bed to transfer to powerchair. Mattress been replace once to current is a built-in gel top. It's worn out but not tackled getting new since old DME sold his business to big company. I get idea might be easier to locate one and just buy instead deal with hassle with company.
    My wife last replaced her bed with regular electric adjustable bed, she didn't like hospital bed.
    Big height difference between our beds. DME took wheels off my bed to bring it down to height of her bed.
    BTW: Think ahead, we didn't. My wife mobility and ability to transfer is getting a bit harder now. Think SCI-Nurse posted in another thread about draw back of adjustable bed is no clearance under bed for lifts.
    My wife needs new mattress, old one is sometype foam(At time mattress cost more than adjustable bed) but is compressed now and she uses overlay on it for comfort.
    She plans on going back to hospital bed and most likely a thing called cool gel mattress(think that's what it's called) that has gel infused in foam. But she gets really hot when in bed.

  9. #9
    Think SCI-Nurse posted in another thread about draw back of adjustable bed is no clearance under bed for lifts.
    This is true for most but not all adjustable beds. It is a factor to consider when choosing a brand/model though. My parents bought an Electropedic partially because they could still get a mobile floor lift under it. http://www.electropedicbeds.com/Adjustable-Beds.php

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  10. #10
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    She was at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab for the initial rehab. They promised the moon but my wife was too sick to keep up with the rehab and they discharged her to SNF and just stopped all education and training. I don’t know about anywhere else but here in the Chicago area, I knew that a skilled nursing facility would fail to provide adequate training. This place has been terrible. The only place I could find that I thought might be able to deal with SCI issues would not take her. Thank God she is able to pee. I do not know how they would have dealt with the cathetering issue. As it is her bowel functions are still unclear. She get suppositories every night. At Shirley Ryan that is gospel. Here they do it but they don’t clear a path for the suppository and it has been less effective.

    I am an extremely bitter over the way she has been shuffled around, the way Shirley Ryan discharged her, the wheelchair issue also is unclear to me. No guidance. I was told Shirley Ryan would arrange a loaner for her upon discharge from the SNF but when I called they said they couldn’t. This because the did not measure her. And it’s true she lost a lot of weight since then. They told me they’d measure her for a chair but now I’d have to rent one first at discharge. At this SNF, the therapists say she doesn’t need a custom chair so they measured her and ordered a standard tilt back chair ( she has s lot of back pain).

    SCI Nurse: at this point I am getting a standard sort of advacare reclining wheelchair and the bed with the gel insert. Am I making a big mistake? Shirley Ryan was going to order the same bed.

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