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A Guide to Drive DeVilbiss Profiling Beds

Posted on May 30th 2018

What is a profiling bed?

A profiling bed is a bed with a mattress platform consisting of two, three or four sections dependent upon the level and complexity of profiling action provided. These sections enable the different sections to incline independently to create a rising backrest and knee break profile for increased comfort. The actions facilitate nursing, care and clinical procedures.

Innov8 iQ profiling bed

These actions help to increase user comfort, can aide pressure redistribution for individuals spending extended periods of time in bed. Most profiling beds are electrically operated via a handset, and also feature a variable height facility, making an important contribution to the occupant and manual handling safety.


Types and characteristics of profiling beds

Most profiling beds are designed for use in acute hospital, long-term care or community care environments. Although there are options developed for domestic use. Those developed for acute hospital applications usually offer a wide range of features and actions. These can include:

  • Single touch cardiac chair, where one button controls the movement of the bed to form this position
  • Trendelenburg and reverse Trendelenburg positioning (head down or head up positioning)
  • CPR, where again a one button touch flattens all sections of the bed for emergency procedures
  • Angle indicators to ensure patients are positioned correctly for nutritional and clinical procedures

Low mattress platform versions of these beds are particularly useful in areas where falls prevention is an issue. Most manufacturers also offer a selection of side rail options for added occupant safety.


Specialist options available

Profiling beds developed for long-term care and community applications focus around occupant comfort and safety, many featuring an attractive domestic appearance. This can incorporate a choice of wood finishes and other aspects such as padded head ends in a variety of colours.

Paediatric profiling beds are also available for children and small adults. Furthermore, bariatric profiling bed versions cater for occupants weighing up to 50 stone and beyond can now be sourced easily.


The Profiling Action

Acclaim Flow Mattress on an Innov8 profiling bed

Intensive research and development work into refining the profiling actions means that many hospital beds and profiling beds for care homes feature special mechanisms such as an auto contour function profiling position that raises/lowers both the backrest and knee break simultaneously to promote comfort and minimise migration in the bed. 


Pre-programmed movements

Profiling bed manufacturers have also developed products that have been pre-programmed to move the backrest and knee break sections in carefully sequenced stages, avoiding the possibility of the occupant slipping down in the bed. Some of these ‘auto-regressing’ backrests also feature ratchet actuators for safety purposes. Here, if the backrest movement is paused for any reason, when it resumes it remains at that level rather than drop suddenly to avoid any danger of entrapment.


Profiling bed adjustment functions

The ability to position a patient correctly in bed is vital, not just for comfort but also as part of a planned programme of care.

Reducing the prevalence of pressure ulcers is not only vital for patient comfort and safety but also reduces the costs associated with treatment – estimated at between £1.4 and £2.1 billion per year for the NHS. Figures from 2013 suggest that the rate of pressure ulcers across the healthcare environment was 4.7% (1). The daily costs of treating a pressure ulcer are estimated to range from £43 to £374, quite apart from the unnecessary suffering caused. Even for ulcers without complications, the daily cost ranges from £43 to £57 (2).

  • Information from Health Service Thermometer, covering nursing homes, care homes, independent sector care providers, community nursing and hospitals.

(2) Bennett, Dealy and Posnett, 2012


Adjustment varies according to design

Profiling bed adjustments vary greatly according to the design and specification of each individual bed, but will in general provide:

  • Height adjustment
  • Backrest angle adjustment
  • Knee break/Leg rest adjustment

Other features and specifications can be added to increase functionality. The ability to raise and lower the mattress platform assists greatly with nursing procedures and reduces the risk of falls. The profiling action for the backrest and knee break sections increases comfort and reduces the need for manual handling.


Separate handsets for carers and patients

innov8 Handset to control profiling beds

For added independence, many profiling beds are available with separate nurse and patient handsets, giving each individual the independence to control his or her own positioning in the bed where this is appropriate. Lockout functions on the handset can enable and disable certain movements where required.


Key specifications

Profiling beds for acute, long-term care and community environments typically measure between 90-100cm in width and 2.2m in length. Bed extensions are available for taller patients. Mattress platform height variation ranges between 40-80cm. Special variants are available descending to just over 20cm. This makes it easy for individuals to get in and out of a low bed. There are also special wider options available in the community and long-term care fields, offering greater comfort, plus a range of bariatric options for heavier patients weighing up to 50 stone and beyond.


Bed options

All profiling beds should comply in full with BS EN 60601-2-52:2010 Standard for Beds for Medical Use. This standard also governs the dimensions for side rails, to avoid any danger of entrapment.

Most adjustable beds or height profiling beds are available with a wide range of additional equipment. These include mattress infills, side rail pads and bumpers to ensure the safety of more vulnerable or fragile occupants. Additional options can include lifting poles, ‘Balkan Beam’ traction, drip poles and oxygen cylinder carriers. Bed and mattress extensions are also available for taller patients.

Most profiling bed manufacturers ensure that models are hoist-compatible, even at the lowest height settings, to ensure that mobile hoists can be used safely around the beds.


Mattresses have to profile too!

Acclaim Flow Hybrid profiling mattress

From sophisticated fully automatic dynamic therapy systems through to simple static foam mattresses. There is a wide choice of surfaces on the market today designed for safe use with electric profiling beds. Profiling bed mattresses include dynamic and static profiling surfaces available for the acute, community, nursing and long-term care markets. 


Key Drive DeVilbiss Profiling Beds


Innov8 iQ Ward Bed

This high performance, high specification ward bed was developed to provide the highest levels of safety and functionality. It has been dubbed ‘the modern ward bed with intelligent thinking’.

The low profiling bed height capabilities of the Innov8 Low are demonstrated in the video below.

The Innov8 IQ has been designed to optimise comfort, infection control and safety. It offers real design flexibility, meaning it is suitable for use in differing acute environments, reducing the need for bed to bed transfers.

Specialist ‘iQ Contouring’ means the profiling action can move backrest and knee break sections in carefully sequenced stages. This avoids the possibility of the occupant slipping down in the bed and furthermore increases comfort.

The Innov8 iQ is manufactured in the UK. It incorporates strong and hygienic blow moulded panels to provide a full range of benefits for both patients and care professionals.


The Bradshaw Range of Nursing Care Beds

The Bradshaw range of nursing bed and residential care home beds has beendeveloped specifically for the care home environment. Bradshaw electrically operated, fully profiling nursing beds are strong and durable. They also use lightweight construction materials, making them easy to manoeuvre and also to assemble and disassemble.

Aesthetics are more of a concern in the home environment

Bradshaw Low Bed Image

They are designed to be visually attractive, with a choice of differing wood finishes. Padded head ends are available in a variety of colours to harmonise with interior design schemes. The range includes a bariatric model, re-engineered to manage the challenges of nursing heavier individuals. There's also a special low height version to make it easy and safe for individuals to get in and out of bed, reducing the risk of falls.

Bradshaw beds are complemented by a range of equipment and accessories for improved comfort, safety and convenience. These include a selection of mattresses including both static and dynamic pressure care systems to aide pressure redistribution and comfort.


The Solite Community Bed

The Solite range is a quality, UK-manufactured electrically profiling bed. It features an electric back rest and knee break functions, variable height control as well as the option of integral full-length side rails.

The profiling functionality of the Solite Pro bed is demonstrated in the video below.

The Solite was the very first electric profiling bed developed for community environments. It has been constantly developed and improved over the years. The result is a combination of occupant comfort, versatility and performance.


Easy to assemble and disassemble

The Solite Pro breaks down into separate lightweight sections. This makes it easy to install even in homes where space is at a premium. Designed to be easy to assemble and disassemble, the Solite stores on a transport stand. This popular design offers advanced levels of functionality, safety and compliance with all relevant standards and regulations. There is also a special Low version designed for use where falls prevention is an important consideration.


See the full range of profiling beds for acute environments >>

See the full range of profiling beds for nursing and long term care environments >>

See the full range of profiling beds for community care >>

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A Guide to Drive DeVilbiss Profiling Beds