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December 2015

Best Hospital Beds for the Home

By 3 years ago 1692 Views No comments

Best Hospital Beds for the Home

Hospital beds are available in many sizes and functions. Modern hospital beds are very adaptable to the changing needs of individual patients as well as from one patient to another. While sleeping, many patients require a flat, level surface to sleep. While awake, many patients require head elevation, or foot elevation and often elevation in the knee area for comfort or for therapy. Hospital beds are better suited to match the needs of recovering patients than standard beds. The key advantage of a hospital beds over a standard bed is the ability to adjust the height of the bed, the mattress head and the mattress foot. This article will explore the best options available for modern hospital beds and the criteria you may want to consider in Selecting the Best Hospital Bed for your needs.

What is the typical size of a hospital bed?

Hospital bed sizes begin at a width of 35 Inches and go up to 54 inches. The most typical width is 35 inches. The length range for most hospital beds is from 75 to 88 inches. The most typical hospital bed length is 80 inches. Wider and longer hospital beds provide a greater degree of comfort for the patient and are more accommodating to different size patients. Some hospital beds are adaptable with extension kits to make them larger. Drive Medical makes a hospital bed extension kit for its Full Electric Hospital Bed (15005) and Ultra Light Semi Electric Bed (15030). The Graham Field Hospital Bed Extension Kit adds more length to the Patriot Full Electric Hospital Bed. New innovations in the hospital bed market include beds that can expand their width and length to accommodate individual patients without adding extension kits to the bed. The Primus Expansion Bed is an example of this new innovation.

What are the types of hospital beds?

Hospital beds are essentially adjustable beds. How these adjustments are made and the types of adjustments that are possible, separate hospital beds into distinct types of adjustable beds. Bed height adjustments allow for better patient egress and ingress as well as easier caregiver access. A hospital bed frame in the low position is easier to get in or out of bed. In its highest position, it is easier for caregivers to serve the patient. Elevation of the head and/or foot aids in therapy and with comfort for the patient, depending upon whether the patient is awake or sleeping. There are six major types of hospital beds currently in production--the full-electric, semi-electric, manual, low bed, Bariatric, and Trendelenburg.

Full-electric Hospital Beds

A full electric bed allows electrical adjustment of the height of the bed frame, the height of the header and the height of the footer. Most full electric hospital beds can be adjustable by a remote control device, allowing the patient to determine the best position. Many full electric beds can lock-out the patient controls to protect the patient from accidental repositioning that could harm them. In these cases, many of these hospital beds have the controls embedded in the footer panel or side rail, allowing the caregiver to adjust the bed position. The most popular full-electric beds are the Invacare 5410VC and the Graham-Field Patriot Homecare Bed.

Bed Type Advantages Disadvantages
Drive Medical Ultra Light Plus Full-electric Hospital Bed
Full-Electric Hospital Beds

fully electric
easy adjustments
less physically demanding

slightly higher costs

Semi-electric Hospital Beds

Semi electric hospital beds are very similar to full electric beds, except that the height of the semi-electrical bed frame is adjustable manually by a hand crank. The header and footer adjustments are completed electrically. Formerly, semi-electric beds were much less expensive than full electric beds, but advances in technology have brought the prices of these two types of hospital beds closer together. The lowest cost semi-electric hospital bed is the Value Care Duo. The Invacare 5310IVC Hospital Bed is one of the best selling semi-electric beds. For patients that do not adjust the bed height often, semi electric beds are a good choice.

Bed Type Advantages Disadvantages
Semi-electric Hospital Bed
Semi-Electric Hospital Beds

easy head and foot adjustments

slightly higher costs
more physically demanding

Manual Hospital Beds

Manual beds do not use electrical power to make adjustments. Hand cranks positioned around the bed provide the mechanism to adjust the bed and mattress height. Manual beds offer the most economical hospital bed solution and can be purchased for less than $600. The Drive Medical Manual Hospital Bed is the lowest price manual bed. The Invacare 5307IVC is the best selling. The chart below displays key advantages and disadvantages for manual hospital beds.

Bed Type Advantages Disadvantages
Manual Hospital Bed
Manual Hospital Beds

lower cost

manual adjustments
burdensome adjustments
more physically demanding

Low Hospital Beds

Low hospital beds have frames that adjust to a minimal height just inches from the floor. The lowest position allows for easier ingress and egress from the bed for patients that may be weak or at risk of fall injuries. Low hospital beds also provide more safety for patients who are at risk of falling out of bed while sleeping or while transitioning in or out of bed. The Invacare Low Hospital Bed is the best selling low bed and comes with a minimum 9.5 inch bed deck height from the floor.

Bed Type Advantages Disadvantages
Invacare 5410LOW Low Hospital Bed
Low Hospital Beds

increased patient safety
low profile
minimizes fall risks
fully electric
easy adjustments
less physically demanding
caregiver friendly

higher costs

Bariatric Hospital Beds

Bariatric hospital beds are heavy duty beds that can support more weight than other hospital beds. Many of these beds can support 1000 pounds or more. These beds are often wider, providing more room for the patient. The bed deck has a solid design without springs but is still able to adjust the mattress head and foot for the patient. Examples of Bariatric hospital beds include the PrimePlus 1000 and the Graham Field Bariatric Bed.

Bed Type Advantages Disadvantages
Invacare 750 Bariatric Hospital Beds
Bariatric Hospital Beds

fully electric
easy adjustments
heavy duty
most durable
increased width
less physically demanding

higher costs

Trendelenburg Hospital Beds

Trendelenburg Hospital Beds provide for many clinical positions useful for recovery therapies. These beds allow for a multitude of positioning options and eliminates the need for most pillows and bed wedges. Trendelenburg positioning can provide a recliner chair type functionality required by many aging patients. These hospital beds offer the most adjustability and function of all the hospital bed options. Hospital beds with Trendelenburg positioning require additional room space to avoid contact with walls and furniture. Examples of Trendelenburg hospital beds include the Joerns UltraCare XT and the Primus PrimeCare Ultimate.

Bed Type Advantages Disadvantages
Joerns UltraCare XT Trendelenburg Hospital Bed
Trendelenburg Hospital Beds

fully electric
most adjustments
most utility
less physically demanding

highest cost
requires more room space

Who are the top hospital bed manufacturers?

There are a number of hospital bed manufacturers that sell their beds exclusively to hospitals and long-term care facilities. Many of these manufacturers also supply hospital beds for homecare use. The top hospital bed manufacturers offering homecare type beds are Invacare, Graham-Field, Drive Medical and Joerns. Invacare is the most well know manufacturer. Each of these manufacturers is well respected in the industry. These manufacturers supply replacement parts for their beds that can be special ordered to keep your hospital bed in good working order for many years to come. Some of these manufactures use interchangeable parts between their beds, ensuring that the part you need will be on-hand when you are ready to order.


There are many hospital bed options to meet your specific needs. Balancing the advantages and disadvantages of each type of hospital bed and exploring the different options will help you identify the best hospital bed for your personal needs. If you have a questions about the right options for you, give the staff at Vitality Medical a call at 800-397-5899.

Hospital Bed Studies

  • Australian Wound Management Association (AWMA), Pressure Ulcer Interest Sub-Committee. Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prediction and Prevention of Pressure Ulcers. West Leederville, Australia: AWMA; 2001.
  • McInnes E, Bell-Syer SEM, Dumville JC, et al. Support surfaces for pressure ulcer prevention. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(4):CD001735.
  • Martin AH. Should continuous lateral rotation therapy replace manual turning? Nurs Manage. 2001;32(8):41-45.
  • Kirschenbaum L, Azzi E, Sfeir T, et al. Effect of continuous lateral rotational therapy on the prevalence of ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients requiring long-term ventilatory care. Crit Care Med. 2002;30(9):1983-1986.
  • Davis K Jr, Johannigman JA, Campbell RS, et al. The acute effects of body position strategies and respiratory therapy in paralyzed patients with acute lung injury. Crit Care. 2001;5(2):81-87.
  • Staudinger T, Kofler J, Mullner M, et al. Comparison of prone positioning and continuous rotation of patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome: Results of a pilot study. Crit Care Med. 2001;29(1):51-56.
  • Meyers C, Low L, Kaufman L, et al. Trendelenburg positioning and continuous lateral rotation improve oxygenation in hepatopulmonary syndrome after liver transplantation. Liver Transpl Surg. 1998;4(6):510-512.
  • Dolovich M, Rushbrook J, Churchill E, et al. Effect of continuous lateral rotational therapy on lung mucus transport in mechanically ventilated patients. J Crit Care. 1998;13(3):119-125.
  • Schimmel L, Civetta JM, Kirby RR. A new mechanical method to influence pulmonary perfusion in critically ill patients. Crit Care Med. 1977;5(6):277-279.
  • Powers J, Daniels D. Turning points: Implementing kinetic therapy in the ICU. Nurs Manage. 2004;35(5):suppl 1-8.
  • Stiletto R, Ose C, Folsch C. Positioning therapy in the treatment of severe oxygenation disorders in critically ill patients: Part I - Current status in the practical use of positioning therapy in German ICUs. Results of a randomized, cross-sectional trial. Int J Intensive Care. 2003;1-5.
  • Pape HC, Regel G, Borgmann W, et al. The effect of kinetic positioning on lung function and pulmonary hemodynamics in posttraumatic ARDS: A clinical study. Injury. 1994; 25(1) 51-57.
  • Tillett JM, Marmarou A, Agnew JP, et al. Effect of continuous rotational therapy on intracranial pressure in the severely brain-injured patient. Clin Intensive Care. 1993;21(7):1005-1011.
  • deBoisblanc BP, Castro M, Everret B, et al. Effect of air-supported, continuous, postural oscillation on the risk of early ICU pneumonia in nontraumatic critical illness. Chest. 1993;103(5):1543-1547.
  • Hess D, Agarwal NN, Myers CL. Positioning, lung function and kinetic bed therapy. Resp Care. 1992;37(2):181-195.
  • Sahn S. Continuous lateral rotational therapy and nosocomial pneumonia. Chest, 1991;99(5):1263-1267.
  • Clemmer TP, Green S, Ziegler B, et al. Effectiveness of the kinetic treatment table for preventing and treating pulmonary complications in severly head-injured patients. Crit Care Med. 1990;18(6):615-617.
  • Kelley RE, Bell LK, Mason RL. Cost Analysis of kinetic therapy in the prevention of complications of stroke. South Med J. 1990;18(6):615-617.
  • Castro MS, Everett B, deBoisblanc BP. Positioning patients with hypoxemia: Effect on physiology and outcome. Crit Care Rep. 1990;1(2):234-240.
  • Fink MP, Helsmoortel CM, Stein KL, et al. The efficacy of an oscillation bed in the prevention of lower respiratory tract infection in critically ill victims if blunt trauma; A prospective study. Chest. 1990;97(1):132-137.
  • Shapiro MJ, Keegan MJ. Continuous oscillation therapy for the treatment of pulmonary contusion. Am Surg. 1992;58(9):546-550.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA asks U.S. Marshals to seize adulterated and misbranded hospital bed systems. FDA Talk Paper. T05-10. Rockville, MD: FDA; March 22, 2005. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/2005/ANS01347.html. Accessed August 8, 2005.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). FDA Preliminary Public Health Notification: Vail Products Enclosed Bed Systems. Rockville, MD: FDA; updated June 24, 2005. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/032505-vail.html. Accessed August 8, 2005.
  • Powell-Cope G, Baptiste AS, Nelson A. Modification of bed systems and use of accessories to reduce the risk of hospital-bed entrapment. Rehabil Nurs. 2005;30(1):9-17.
  • NHIC, Corp. Hospital beds and accessories. Medicare Local Coverage Determination (LCD) No. L5049. Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractor (DME MAC) Jurisdiction A. Hingham, MA: NHIC; revised January 1, 2008.
  • Cullum N, Petherick E. Pressure ulcers. In: BMJ Clinical Evidence. London, UK: BMJ Publishing Group; updated February 2007.
  • Cullum N, Nelson EA, Flemming K, Sheldon T. Systematic reviews of wound care management: (5) beds; (6) compression; (7) laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, electrotherapy and electromagnetic therapy. Health Technol Assess. 2001;5(9):1-221.
  • Delaney A, Gray H, Laupland KB, Zuege DJ. Kinetic bed therapy to prevent nosocomial pneumonia in mechanically ventilated patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Crit Care. 2006;10(3):R70.
  • Goldhill DR, Imhoff M, McLean B, Waldmann C. Rotational bed therapy to prevent and treat respiratory complications: A review and meta-analysis. Am J Crit Care. 2007;16(1):50-61.
  • Health Quality Ontario. Management of chronic pressure ulcers: An evidence-based analysis. Ont Health Technol Assess Ser. 2009;9(3):1-203.
  • National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. Pressure ulcer treatment recommendations. In: Prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers: clinical practice guideline. Washington (DC): National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel; 2009. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=25139&search=turning+bed+AND+bed+sores.
  • Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). Pressure ulcer prevention and treatment protocol. Health care protocol. Bloomington (MN): Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI); January 2012. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=36059&search=turning+bed+AND+bed+sores.
  • Berlowitz D. Prevention of pressure ulcers. Last reviewed April 2013. UpToDate Inc. Waltham, MA.

Burt Cancaster, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

Burt Cancaster Profile

Oxygen Concentrator Expertise

By Paul Garica 3 years ago 1215 Views No comments

The Vitality Medical Difference: Expertise comes Standard with your Oxygen Concentrator

Whether low-cost shipping or promotional accessories, medical supply companies offer many incentives to portable and stationary concentrator customers.

However, there is one perk to ordering an oxygen concentrator from Vitality Medical: expertise. This is crucial, because oxygen concentrators are life-essential medical devices.

Vitality Medical team members must be internally certified to help oxygen concentrator customers -- even if it's simply to order an accessory like an external battery.

Certified Oxygen Concentrator Specialist Seal

Whenever you call about oxygen concentrators, you will be connected with an internally certified oxygen concentrator specialist. He or she will answer your questions such as: Can using DC power in your car affect the LPM equivalency of a portable oxygen concentrator?

Vitality Medical Certified Oxygen Concentrator Specialists can answer this because they've correctly answered it and 49 other oxygen concentrator-based questions in 35 minutes. Making certification even more difficult: The proctored exam must be passed with a 94% or better. What's more, each member must recertify every six months, because technology marches on and our product line keeps growing.

Why we do it:

Beyond our Lowest Price Guarantee, oxygen concentrator certification is precisely why Vitality Medical should be your first call. A certified specialist will work with you, your budget and your doctor's prescription to lead you to the perfect purchase.

O2 Concepts Oxlife Independence Portable Oxygen Concentrator SeQual eQuinox Portable Oxygen Concentrator

For example, if you have vision issues, our staff can guide you to the SeQual eQuinox, a portable oxygen concentrator with verbal indications/warnings. Are you a frequent flyer? A certified Vitality Medical Oxygen Concentrator Specialist will direct you to two models that fit under airplane seats. The Oxlife Independence can lay on its front or backside. The other, the Oxus Portable, can rest on its front or backsides, as well as lay on its side.

How we do it:

Guided by Vitality Medical president and registered nurse, Brad Packer, an internal oxygen concentrator committee reviews all stationary and portable concentrators. The cross-company team works with major manufacturers to obtain detailed information about oxygen therapysolutions.

The team takes this information, flags the competitive differences and compiles them. They place the models into an interactive database so certified specialists can quickly sort oxygen therapy devices based on your input. This helps determine which device will make you happy and healthy for years to come.

  • Shopper's Tip: When you call us, have your prescription handy. This will enable a Vitality Medical Certified Oxygen Concentrator Specialist to promptly find the best machines that suit your medical needs. Then, you can discuss your lifestyle and day-to-day activities (whether gardening, volunteering or caretaking) to get paired with the right machine.

Knowledge is Power: The Vitality Medical Edge

Vitality Medical's lead Oxygen Concentrator Specialist has compiled a wealth of comparison charts and collated independent oxygen studies. Culled directly from manufacturers and academic resources, these online materials are available 24/7 to help you shop and review oxygen therapy devices at your convenience.

Try Before You Buy: Vitality Medical's Rental Oxygen Concentrator Program

Home Oxygen Concentrator Line-up

In addition to establishing a stringent internal certification process, Vitality Medical has an oxygen therapy rental program. Run by highly experienced Vitality Medical Certified Oxygen Concentrator Specialists, the program makes oxygen concetrators available to more people.

Why rent? Perhaps you need simplicity because you are traveling across country to a grandchild's graduation. Maybe you'd rather try before you buy, or need a short-term solution -- like renting a unit to take with you to the hospital.

Regardless of why you rent, rest easy because our rental program ensures you will receive uninterrupted, personalized attention and seamless logistics.

  • Shopper's Tip: While shopping for Oxygen Concentrators, consider the company's the depth and breadth of oxygen therapy knowledge and service. These factors will streamline the initial purchase and simplify ownership. Vitality Medical takes these matters seriously; we believe that Oxygen Concentrator Certification is essential to the high-caliber service you expect from Vitality Medical.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, yes DC power does affect a portable oxygen concentrator's LPM. A car or RV's DC source may affect LPM equivalency because the vehicle's auxiliary power may not produce enough power for the oxygen concentrator to output the necessary LPM.

To a life full of Vitality!

Paul Garcia, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

Paul Garcia Profile

Living With COPD

By Jared Soper 3 years ago 1112 Views No comments


Did you know that at least 12 million people in the United States alone have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (aka COPD)? We recognize this is a problem and we are here to help.

When it comes to maintaining an active and fulfilling life, sometimes even the little things help. Things like doing tasks while sitting down, wearing loose or less constrictive clothing, arranging objects in your home so that they are within reach, and not moving too quickly. Of course, there are bigger things that will make a greater impact on your life, too. Read on as we highlight some of the things that can help you more effectively manage your COPD.


Diet and exercise are also extremely important. What you choose to eat and how often you exercise make a big difference on your life. By choosing to eat a healthy, balanced diet and striving to exercise on a regular basis, you will notice a definite increase in your fitness levels. Of course, we know physical activity with COPD isn't easy, so start small. Building and maintaining muscle by lifting cans of vegetables, for instance, is an easy and inexpensive way to get some exercise. When you're done lifting, don't forget about eating the contents. Eating at least one fresh fruit and vegetable with every meal will make you feel much healthier. Also, to avoid choking and help with ease of digestion, try to eat small, frequent meals, and drink plenty of water.

The other thing that being conscious of your diet and exercising can help with is managing your weight. Individuals with COPD often have trouble gaining or maintaining weight due to how much energy they expell just by trying to breathe, which can have a negative impact on your health. Conversely, if individuals with COPD are overweight, they may find that they have even greater trouble breathing.

Another way to maintain your weight, believe it or not, is to get enough sleep every night. There is a large correlation between your weight and your sleep patterns. In addition to better breathing, a regular, consistent sleep pattern can also help your mental clarity and your mood, can help regulate your cardiovascular system, and help to maintain a strong immunity. All of these can help you lead a better life with COPD.

Finally, if you smoke, quit. Quitting smoking, as hard as it may be, will have a huge impact on your quality of life with COPD. Smoking is no doubt one of the leading causes of COPD, and while quitting will certainly not cure your COPD, it will definitely reduce future risks. There are myriad helpful ways to quit, from medications to group therapy. If you need help choosing the best method for you, talk to your primary care physician.


Acapella Choice Flutter Valve

Naturally, getting treated with the right medication is a crucial part of managing your COPD. Whether you're managing regular or occasional breathing problems, you'll want to talk to a healthcare professional about the treatment that is right for you. Below, we will highlight some of the most popular and effective treatments that are out there.

Cough Assist Devices

Sometimes with COPD, mucus has a tendency to build up, which can not only make breathing difficult, but also lead to pulmonary infections. Cough assist devices, such as flutter valves and acapella flutter valves help manage the accumulation of mucus by clearing the lungs and airways of secretions. These are both small enough to fit in a purse or backpack, so you can take them with you anywhere you go. For stronger, at-home bronchial respiratory therapy, the Cough Assist T70 from Respironics is a great, non-invasive option.


PulmoNeb Nebulizer Compressor

Another device that can be very beneficial in the treatment of COPD is a nebulizer compressor. Much like an asthma inhaler, these distribute a fine mist of aerosol medication into the lungs to help facilitate breathing. Nebulizer compressors are available in either electric stationary units or battery-powered portable versions.

Oxygen Concentrators

Oxygen concentrators, or oxygen generators, are one of the best ways to provide reliable, cost-effective oxygen support for individuals with COPD. Available in either portable or stationary at-home models, personal oxygen concentrators pull in the air from the room they are in, filter out extraneous gases, and deliver pure, concentrated medical oxygen. Not to be confused with oxygen tanks that are heavy and only have a limited amount of oxygen, concentrators provide users with continuous, 24/7 oxygen. Your doctor will indicate the degree of oxygen output you need when they prescribe your oxygen treatment, so be sure to get all of the details when talking with your medical professional.

5 Liter Oxygen Concentrators

The biggest key to living with COPD is getting the right support and being well informed. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider and don't hesitate to reach out to those around you.

Jared Soper, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

Jared Soper Profile