Why Proper Beds?

Why proper beds? You know, for many years, it was held that feather beds were an indispensable adjunct to the furniture of a sick room for the reason that they were softer than others. This idea has long since been discarded, and it is now universally condemned. Those most in favor are fitted with a patent woven wire mattress, over which is laid a soft hair mattress. Next comes a sheet, which is tucked under and pinned underneath the mattress at the four corners.
This ensures smoothness and thus lessens the chances of the patient suffering from bed sores. The top sheet should be tucked in at the foot, but care must be taken to leave the sides open. Add what blankets are required to ensure warmth, but not enough to cause unnecessary weight.
The pillows should be of a size that will prevent the patient from lying with his head in a hole, and they should be turned frequently to present a cool, smooth surface to the face. Where the bed is regularly wet or soiled, a sheet several times folded is placed under the patient, and in such cases, special attention must be paid to the washing, drying, and powdering of the parts of the body wet or soiled by these discharges.
Beyond their sanitary value, the main object of these precautions is to prevent the formation of bed sores, which are always a source of much suffering and annoyance. The continued pressure on body parts are the main reason that prevents nourishment from being carried to the tissues by circulation. The tissues die, and bed sores are the result. The lower part of the spine, hips, elbows, and heels usually bear the greatest continual weight, and these should be bathed every day and powdered with cornstarch to help to toughen the skin.
The under sheet should be kept dry, smooth, and free from crumbs, the patient’s position should be changed several times each day, and any other possible means devised to lessen the pressure on any one part of the body. Should the appearance of a rash show that the skin has not been toughened sufficiently, apply a wash made of equal parts Goulard Water and Tincture of Catechu, obtained at any reputable drugstore.
The patient is often in too weak a condition to allow frequent turning, in which event a rubber cushion, with a hole in the middle, is usually placed under him in such a position that the sore spot will rest over the hole. If a rubber cushion is not available, use thick pillows in the same way. It sometimes happens that, despite all these precautions, sores form; and, as soon as the skin shows signs of cracking, rub the affected parts with an oxide of zinc ointment and stop the pressure, as directed above.
If matter forms, wash the sore every day with water containing a little carbolic acid, and then dress with the oxide of zinc or boroglyceride ointment spread on soft linen and fastened on with strips of adhesive plaster. Don’t allow this plaster to touch the sore. Strap it along the sides of the square of linen, allowing it to take a firm hold on the good skin beyond.
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Why Proper Beds?
Why Proper Beds? This ensures smoothness and thus lessens the chances of the patient suffering from bed sores. Source