Headwaters gets new hospital beds, matresses to target skin problems

July 13, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

The recent arrival of 22 new, modern bed frames and mattresses had Headwaters Health Care Centre staff feeling like it was Christmas in July. The new equipment is part of the hospital’s 10-year bed replacement plan.

Thanks to generous community donations, Headwaters patients will benefit from these new beds, which offer a supportive and therapeutic surface to optimize healing. The mattresses are designed to reduce the incidence of pressure injuries, which are recognized internationally as an ongoing issue for patients confined to their bed.

“Meeting our high standards of patient care will be better facilitated with the new beds,” said Peter Varga, Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Executive at Headwaters. “Reducing the incidence of pressure injuries and associated pain management not only helps our patients but also reduces the cost of care.”

Since the Ontario government does not provide funding for hospital equipment, the beds were purchased through community donations to Headwaters Health Care Foundation.

“Our community is incredibly supportive of their local hospital and we are very pleased to have been able to fund these much needed pieces of equipment,” said Foundation Director Joan Burdette. “Supporting patient care is the Foundation’s priority, and thanks to our generous donors these beds will make a huge difference for our patients.”

Upon arrival the new beds were fully assembled, tested for quality, tagged with identification labels, disinfected and deployed to the Medical, Surgical, and Obstetrical units. The lifespan of most beds is 10 years, although many of those being replaced at Headwaters were much older. Headwaters’ goal is to standardize its beds, allowing for enhanced staff knowledge of these beds and their advanced functions in order to support patient safety.

Headwaters’ Registered Nurse Heather Morrow emphasized the toll prolonged bed rest takes on patients. “Pressure injuries happen when a patient is in one position for a long time; they can be difficult to manage and run the risk of becoming infected. Our aim is to support our nurses in implementing and following leading practices in preventing skin breakdown, as well as identifying, managing and treating pressure injuries to promote healing and reduce associated pain,” she said.

Data indicates that care and management for one patient with a pressure injury can cost upwards of $70,000 a year. It can also delay discharge from the hospital and most importantly, put patients at risk of infection and further complications.

A $10,000 donation to Headwaters from RBC provided the means for Ms. Morrow to enhance the current wound prevention and care education provided to nursing staff. The goal is to ultimately prevent pressure injuries and effectively manage those arriving to Headwaters with an existing injury. The new beds are part of a hospital-wide strategy to support this work.

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