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HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF HOSPITAL BEDS

A hospital bed has a key role to play in the recovery and comfort of an ailing person. Sadly, their importance and relevance is often downplayed. A hospital bed improves the quality of your sleep and makes you more comfortable. There are different types, shapes, and sizes of this bed. Some hospital beds even make use of innovative technology.

The first hospital bed that was produced wasn’t very easy and comfortable to use. They were first produced in the 1800s and since that time, they have evolved massively. In this article, we will be going back in time to see how hospital beds have evolved over time.

Types of hospital beds

There isn’t only one type of hospital bed. These beds are used in hospitals and other medical facilities. They can also be used at home. It is your health condition and medical state that will determine the type of bed you need. Types of hospital beds include:

Hospital bed history

It isn’t an easy task to trace the origin of hospital beds. There have been different iterations of this bed for so many years. Hospital beds actually started as basic stretchers. The stretcher was made with two long poles of equal length.  A cloth material is spread across these poles so that a patient can be carried from place to place. Since that time, there have been so many changes in the design of hospital beds. Let us analyze them.

1815: The period between 1815 and 1825 was when the production of beds with adjustable rails started in Britain. The side rails were moved with mechanical crank.

1874: A patent for a mattress frame that could be elevated was registered. It is often seen as the first iteration of modern hospital beds.

1909: This was when the next innovation in hospital beds was introduced. This move was initiated by Willis D.Gatch who was an employee of the Indiana University. It led to the invention of the 3 segment adjustable bed which made it possible for elevation of head and feet.

1945: This was when push button electric beds were invented. This design included a built-in toilet so that there would be no need for the bead pan.

1946: This was when a hospital bed with 6 sections and 30 electric engines where developed. It was a reaction to an accident that occurred to Howard Hughes who was a popular billionaire at that time.

1949: The advent of basic functions and control.

1950s: During this period, hospital beds with electric engines were manufactured. This bed had full electrical functioning.

1958: This was when the Circ-O’lectric bed was developed. It was developed by Dr. Homer Stryker.

1961: Introduction of beds with basic controllers.

1974: The introduction of control panel on side rails.

1978: Remote-controlled side rails were produced.

1980s: Attention turned to the development of quality mattresses for use in hospital beds. This led to the production of therapeutic mattresses. Some of these mattresses had extra tools like position detectors and a mechanism for measuring the weight of patients.

1983: Manufacture of the first electric bed for use outside the hospital.  

1990s: Development of more advanced beds. These beds have improved functionality for ease of use and effective operation. It was during this perios that mechatronic beds were produced.

1993: The development of standardized electronic hospital beds so that patients are not exposed to mechanical and electrical hazards.

Today: Improvement on existing hospital bed designs continue to take place as new industry standards continue to spring up. The aim is to have more functional, easy to use, intelligent, and comfortable hospital beds.

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