What distinguishes ICU beds from regular hospital beds? Features and Specifications

Intensive care units (ICUs), sometimes known as critical care units (CCUs) or intensive treatment units, employ ICU beds (ITUs). People who are very ill are treated and cared for in these specialised centres.

Each patient is cared after by one or two nurses and is constantly monitored. To meet high-dependency care demands, additional equipment such as ventilators or feeding tubes is frequently employed.

Other hospital wards do not have this specialised equipment. However, beds are required in all hospitals. So, how do ICU beds differ from regular hospital ward beds? This article compares and contrasts the characteristics and specifications of ICU beds with those of regular hospital bed toronto .

Specifications for ICU Beds

An ICU bed is technically any bed that is utilised in an intensive care unit. The term refers to the location in a hospital where a bed is utilised rather than a specific sort of bed.

It’s the same as when a nurse says someone “needs a cardiology bed” to indicate that they require transfer to a cardiology ward bed.

Guidelines from the Department of Health and Social Services

The Department of Health and Social Care does, however, stipulate in its Critical Care Unit Planning & Design Notes that each bed space in an ICU should include:

“An electric bed with a pressure-relieving mattress that can be adjusted to chair and Trendelenberg positions.”

As a result, these recommendations establish three criteria for ICU beds:

1. Must be electric – rather than needing medical personnel to manually adjust the bed, it may be controlled with a handset or control panel.

2. Must provide cardiac chair and Trendelenberg posture options – these positions help with breathing and circulation, which is important for body function. Learn more about the Trendenlenberg position and why it’s utilised in this article.

3. Can accommodate a pressure-relieving mattress — pressure relief is provided by foam or replaceable air mattresses. ICU beds must be of sufficient size to accommodate these mattresses.

4 Key Characteristics of ICU Beds

NHS Trusts can analyse which beds best satisfy patient and staff needs when making an order by avoiding a large and exhaustive list of prerequisites for ICU beds.

However, in a critical care scenario, a number of qualities and functionalities are vital. As a result, the majority of ICU beds will include the following four features:

Release of CPR

The majority of intensive care doctors and nurses regard CPR release to be a need for ICU beds.

At the touch of a button or lever, medical personnel may flatten the bed platform. This immediately generates the flat, firm surface needed to conduct CPR in an emergency (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

IVHooks for Pole

IV poles are used to safely hang fluids or medications that must be supplied via a drip to a patient. They usually have two or four hooks, each of which can support a fluid container.

In ICUs, where patients frequently require many drugs at the same time, having an IV pole with multiple hooks is advantageous.

In an emergency, choosing an ICU bed with an IV pole makes it easier to relocate a patient. Medical personnel simply have to focus on relocating one piece of equipment instead of both the bed and the IV pole. The danger of injury or damage to the IV supply is reduced as a result.

Head and Footboards removable

In ICUs, beds with removable head and footboards that lock securely into place when not in use are frequently favoured.

This design has two major advantages:

In an emergency, the headboard can be removed to allow medical personnel to stand behind the patient. This gives you more room to operate around the patient and gives you greater access to the head for breathing support.

Prone positioning is more convenient. A patient is rotated from face up to face down during this treatment.

Nurse Command

Controls for electric hospital beds come in a variety of configurations. Some siderails have a patient handset or patient controls built in. Others include a nurse control handset or nursing controls integrated into the footboard’s base. Often, there will be a combination of controls available on a single bed.

Having built-in nurse controls on ICU beds has various advantages:

Nursing controls have the ability to disable functions on any patient cellphone. This will protect a vulnerable patient who is unable to operate the bed from harm.

There are no trailing wires that could constitute a trip hazard if personnel rushes to help in an emergency.

Controls are not at risk of being misplaced. ICUs are bustling environments. Staff can activate the bed without having to look for a handset if they require it to complete a function.

Weighing scales, for example, can be built into the bed. This aids in the weight monitoring of patients who are unable to sit or stand to be weighed.

Intensive Care Unit Beds compared. Hospital Ward Beds

All of the above characteristics have one thing in common. In an emergency, they assist medical personnel in reacting and providing care more quickly.

This is critical in an ICU and may be the most significant distinction between ICU and other hospital beds.


Patients are classified in all hospitals based on their care requirements. The different levels of care categories used by NHS Trusts are as follows:

Level 0 – Patients have needs that can be handled by standard ward care.

Level 1 – Patients on the verge of deterioration or those who have recently been transferred from levels 2/3. With some advise and help from the critical care team, their needs can be met on an acute ward.

Level 2 – Patients that require more intensive monitoring or intervention. Those who require support for a single failing organ system or post-operative care, as well as those who are’stepping down’ from level 3 care, fall into this category.

Level 3 – Patients who require advanced or basic respiratory assistance as well as support for two or more organ systems.

Level 2 and 3 patients are cared for in intensive care units. They are more likely to have complex demands or to deteriorate abruptly, necessitating medical assistance right once.

As a result, ICU beds must be outfitted to accommodate this rapid reaction.

The majority of hospitals require beds that are adaptable.

We looked at which qualities are most beneficial to ICUs and why. However, most of the hospitals with which Innova works desire beds that are flexible and versatile enough to be used in various regions of the hospital.

Hundreds of beds with the qualities stated above have been delivered to wards outside of ICUs over the years. Emergencies can happen anywhere, so being prepared for a quick reaction is beneficial.

Furthermore, having additional beds accessible to support critical care is beneficial if circumstances change and there is a rapid increase in critically sick patients.

Providing support to ICUs during the COVID-19 crisis

That is exactly what the current COVID-19 outbreak in the whole world has done. ICUs are in high demand, and hospitals across the country are in desperate need of more critical-care beds. We’re thrilled to report that we’ve already given much-needed beds to NHS Trusts across the country, including Manchester’s NHS Nightingale Hospital North West.

Large inventories of beds are still available for immediate delivery to NHS Trusts. Our professional team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist procurement teams in locating beds that fit their hospital’s needs and are equipped for ICU use.

ICU bed — While ICU bed definitions differ, it’s thought that any bed used in an Intensive Care Unit qualifies as an ICU bed. The Department of Health and Social Care, on the other hand, does not concur with this description. It goes into greater detail on what an ICU bed is.

‘It’s an electronic bed with a pressure-relieving mattress that adjusts to chair and Trendelenburg positions.

An ICU bed should be operated mechanically rather than manually. Regulate panels should allow the patient to control the movement of the bed without the need for a nurse.

Cardiac chair and Trendelenburg positioning are available — This is a significant feature since it improves breathing and circulation, allowing the body to function properly.

Has pressure-relieving mattresses – The patient should be comfortable and have a mattress that reduces pressure because he or she is receiving intense care. Foam and replacement air mattresses are the greatest mattresses to use.

Normal Hospital Beds — A standard hospital bed can be either manual or semi-electric. They consist of standard hospital beds that can be found in any hospital. In a hospital facility, these hospital beds are required. The majority of the time, a standard hospital bed is operated manually.Patients who utilise a conventional hospital bed are not in any danger and can move their bodies, therefore they do not require a completely automatic bed. In comparison to the ICU bed, a typical hospital bed has less characteristics.

Price of ICU and Regular Hospital Beds
The cost of a conventional hospital bed and an ICU bed differs. The bed’s features and accessories add to this. The ICU bed, on the other hand, is usually more expensive than a typical hospital bed. The qualities and attributes of the ICU bed help the patient cope with the conditions. It’s intended to allow medics to respond swiftly in an emergency.

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply