A hospital bed can either be useful piece of medical equipment or a patient’s worst nightmare. When properly cleaned and maintained, patients can comfortably rest on it and are better able to recover. The problem starts when risk managers fail to check healthcare facilities such as medical beddings. Not having the right fabric on a hospital mattress, for instance, can cause preventable pressure-related ulcers or bedsores.
Medical mattresses shouldn’t be a problem. They’re easy to install, clean and maintain. You only need to consider what materials to use, from choosing hospital mattress fabrics to types of chemical for disinfecting them. Here’s how.
Use the Right Fabric for Your Hospital Mattress
Taking care of your hospital beds start with choosing an appropriate fabric for your mattress. Unlike your regular fabrics, specialized ones designed for healthcare facilities ensure proper patient care. There are many types to choose from but there’s one that’s increasingly becoming popular: antimicrobial mattress fabric. Not only are antimicrobial fabrics best in preventing the spread of of germs, bacteria and other dangerous elements, they are also easier and cheaper to maintain since they use a lot less cleaning chemicals.
Choose from among the industry’s leading brands. There’s Herculite’s Sure-Chek™ hospital mattress fabric, if you’re looking for one that’s not only comfortable, but also resistant to stain, fluid, moisture and flame and thermally conductive to ensure patient comfort. It’s a trusted brand and market leader in the antimicrobial fabric industry for a long time so you’ll never go wrong with it.
Make sure to choose only hospital mattress fabrics that exceed industry standards. Caring for your patient starts here.
Use Approved Chemicals to Clean Hospital Mattress
Hospital mattresses, no matter how well-engineered they are, will wear with use and not properly function. You can easily avoid these by regularly disinfecting and washing your hospital mattress with ideal cleaning solutions. Make sure that each disinfectant or cleaner is compatible with or safe to use on your fabric. If you’re using vinyl fabrics on your hospital mattress, it’s best to apply phenolic disinfectants, the same kind found in disinfectant soaps, mouthwashes and hand washes. For urethane materials, quaternary ammonium compounds (or quats) are most ideal. And if you’re using both vinyl and urethane fabrics, industry experts strongly suggest the use of hypochlorite and chlorine oxide for cleaning. Remember, more is not always better. Disinfectants applied at full concentration or in highly concentrated solutions may damage the fabric. Laundering of thermoplastic fabrics is not recommended.
What about stubborn stains and spots on medical fabrics? These shouldn’t be a challenge. You can apply pre-soak them for a minute or two before brushing them clean with neutral soaps diluted in lukewarm water. Neutral soaps are those that don’t contain lye or potash.
If you’re using Sure-Check, which is a vinyl-laminated and polyurethane-coated fabric, don’t launder it to extend its antimicrobial properties. In case you decide to wash it anyway, launder it in warm water (maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit), and dry it at a low temperature (maximum of 140 degrees Fahrenheit). This procedure will help keep the fabric’s antimicrobial properties.
Taking care of hospital beds requires a system. There should be proper collection, maintenance and laundering of linens, in addition to regular maintenance schedules to avoid costly repairs. It’s a system that relies on team effort, from competent managers to qualified healthcare professionals. In such a busy environment as a hospital, communication is key for teams to be effective. For instance, information regarding the proper use of disinfectants for each material must come directly from the manufacturers or distributors. If there’s anything unclear, managers should take the initiative to get their expert advice and discuss it with their staff.
Choosing the right fabrics and recommended cleaning routine will maximize not only the performance of the hospital mattress but also the comfort and safety of the user.
Now that you know a little bit more about care and cleaning hospital mattress fabrics, download our free whitepaper, "Long Term Pressure Management Solution for Healthcare Fabrics" You'll learn how specifically designed textiles are used by healthcare professionals to manage and prevent bed sores.