Why are ICU Beds so Expensive: A Detailed Analysis

Medical equipment are expensive. We all know that. But what we don’t know is that they’re not always overpriced. Sometimes, medical equipment is just too expensive to be used in the home and has to be reserved for hospitals, clinics, and other professional settings. ICU beds are a perfect example of this. They have been designed with specific needs in mind such as infection control and the needs of critically ill patients, so using them at home can lead to potential health risks (especially if you have sick family members). 

Here are some things to keep in mind before you buy an ICU bed for your home: 

  • An ICU bed is typically over $10,000 
  • ICU beds come with a lot of attachments such as oxygen masks or IVs 
  • ICU beds are very heavy and difficult to move around 
  • ICU beds are built for long-term stays and not for daily use 
  • ICU beds are not built for everyday use, so using them at home might pose some health risks to your family members 
  • ICU beds are built with a special type of mattress that is not easy to replace 
  • ICU beds are built to last and might last much longer than expected 
  • If you’re having trouble affording an ICU bed for your home, you can always check out Facebook stores or websites such as Craigslist. There are plenty of people selling their used ICU beds. Just make sure that it is in good condition before buying.

Let’s have a close look into understanding everything about ICU beds and why they cost a lot of money.

ICU Beds  are more than just beds. They are also called ICU stretchers and are designed for use in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of hospitals. They provide a high level of comfort to patients and can be used for short-term stays or long-term stays depending on the level of care needed by the patient.

So what makes them so special?  More than anything else, it’s because they take up very little space when compared to a normal hospital bed that takes up as much space as needed around the bed itself. 

Although they may look like normal beds, they have features like wheels at the end that allow them to be easily moved if need be plus they also have side rails to keep patients from falling out of bed in case you need to carry them somewhere such ICU rooms or x-ray machines.

Here are some of the things you should know about ICU Beds:

Average Cost of Purchasing an ICU Bed

ICU beds tend to cost more than other medical or surgical beds. The average cost of an ICU bed starts at $7,500 and can be as much as $25,000 with the average being around $10,000. However, not all models are priced the same and you should expect to pay more for the better quality versions.

The major contributing factor in their price is because they come with a lot of technology that other standard hospital beds don’t come with. For instance they have movable IV poles that can raise and lower to place your IV bag from above or below you depending on what’s most convenient for your medical situation; also they have advanced side rails and air mattress systems that make them more comfortable for patients who need to stay in bed for long periods of time.

These features are designed to improve the quality of care by making it easier for nurses and healthcare professionals who are caring for these specific patients.

So even though there is a big price difference between models of ICU beds, it doesn’t mean you’re paying for anything unnecessary. 

What are the various types of ICU Beds?

It’s important to understand that there are two basic types or styles of ICU beds:

  1. Standard ICU Beds – These have side rails, adjustable height and they can elevate the patient in both positions. There is a mattress that can be removed to make washing easier and there is usually a lock on the wheels so it doesn’t roll away. All these features make this style of bed useful for care providers in any situation where they need help moving a patient. The air mattress makes it possible for patients to get direct relief from pressure points on areas other than their back. This type is also used in most nursing homes because it’s very easy to clean with its removable parts and washable mattress.
  2. Specialty ICU Beds – These have all of the same features as standard beds but they come with more advanced improvements like better IV poles, more movable parts, air pumps and more specialized position adjustments. These also include more advanced functions and accessories like tiltable backrests that enable critical care providers to reach and treat patients quickly while they are comfortably resting. These beds tend to be more expensive than the standard ICU bed, but the advanced features make it worth the cost.

Specialty beds are typically used in smaller hospitals where there is only one patient at a time and some larger hospitals may choose a specialty bed for particular patients but maintain a standard bed for most of the patients.

Both types of ICU Beds are designed to give care providers easy access to critical areas on each side of the patient’s body without having to move or even lift them, making it possible for the patient to be treated or inspected easily without compromising their comfort.  

How does an ICU bed work?

ICU Beds are designed so that you can use them as easily as possible by providing you with two separate modes:  

  • Patient Mode – Used when you want your patient up in a seated position to feed, handle catheter care, comfort care or they just want to sit up.  
  • Bed Mode – Used when you want your patient to lay flat on their back in bed mode for procedures, pain treatment and other forms of care that are easier to provide while in a reclined position. Each and every ICU bed is designed with your patients comfort and safety as the top priority. This is why we give you the ability to adjust the bed into whichever position you find fitting for each individual patient.

Common Features in ICU Beds

  • Individual Positioning – Sometimes it may not be possible for one person to adjust their patient from laying flat in bed mode up into a sitting or even semi-reclined position. Every ICU Beds’ Patient Positioning System was designed specifically so that it can be easily adjusted by one or two people at any time during treatment or procedures on your patient’s body.
  • Built-in Massage Function – Many ICU Beds offer built-in massage features that provide slow, yet rhythmic vibrations designed to relax and soothe your patient. Some ICU Bed models offer adjustable built-in massage functions that can be set to a specific pulse rate as well as an adjustable intensity level. Others have a fixed built-in massage function with preset pulse rates and intensity levels. Designed with adjustable controls, both types of ICU Beds’ built-in massage functions are the perfect addition that will make your patient feel more comfortable while they receive the best treatment possible.
  • Wider Patient Positioning – Many patients spend several weeks or even months in an ICU bed, so we understand the importance of full body positioning support and comfort for each individual patient on our beds.
  • Seat Width Range – The Sit-to-Stand units come standard with a seat width range that is anywhere from 28” to 36” wide at its fullest point (depending on the model). Each unit comes standard with an additional 18” of extension capability on either side of the seat width range. With these additional 18” extensions, or “swing out” sides, a patient’s total seat width range can vary from 44″ to 54″ wide. Designed with additional side extensions, our Sit-to-Stand units provide full body positioning support and comfort for all of your patients.

Why are ICU Beds so Expensive?

There are many reasons why ICU beds cost so much. With the special features, you are sure that the prices of these beds will go high. Here are some of the reasons why ICU beds are so expensive.

1. Materials – The material used in making an ICU bed should also be carefully planned and designed to ensure that there is as little weight added to the patient as possible. Materials chosen should be able to withstand the patient’s body weight accurately, without making the patients’ body experience any pain or discomfort due to extra weight on his or her body when the patient is in bed.

2. Design – The design of an ICU bed is more important than its material. The design has to be well-planned to ensure that the comfort level offered by the bed is balanced so as not to burden the patient’s body too much. This balance is monitored and adjusted continuously during failures or problems.

3. Quality workmanship – The workmanship that goes into making an ICU bed makes it superior to any ordinary hospital bed, even today’s standard hospital beds available in numerous hospitals across the globe.

4. Reputation – Once a bed has been successfully used in hospitals, you will find its price going up higher than common beds would cost at other locations where they are not normally used because there are previous users who know better ways of making a good experience for their visitors! (just like when we buy a car, we tend to pay more for cars with good reputation)

5. Customization – Some of the most expensive ICU beds are those that have been customized to be more comfortable and can be easily adjusted to suit different sizes of beds.

6. Comfort – There are various designs in which fitted mattress and other soft materials could be used for the comfortability of a patient’s skin, such as cotton-filled cots, wool, silk and others. The materials chosen will determine how much contact with skin happens throughout a day for a particular type of patient under certain circumstances (such as around-the-clock).

7. Durability – These days most ICU beds available on the market are designed to be made from high-quality materials that can withstand more wear and tear compared to other beds as well as general hospital equipment.

8. Safety – It’s important to remember that these beds are usually made with a special locking system which functions in a way that allows the bed to be used by patients with less chances of slipping off the bed because it can be easily locked and secured with a safety pin or safety strap provided.

9. Adaptability – The designs of the beds tend to adapt easily depending on the needs of the hospital, specially when it comes to tools used such as staff and doctors everyday, since these beds are geared towards use by medical professionals in hospitals 24/7 either by themselves or during night shifts.

10. Quietness – These beds are usually made from special materials that are quieter than other types of normal hospital bed. This characteristic is important in hospitals because it helps prevent patients from feeling pressure on their backs and also soothes them as a result.

How Much Does ICU Cost per Day?

The cost of an ICU is actually quite affordable to most people, especially when compared with the cost of private beds and hospital rooms. The average cost of an ICU should run between $750-1500 per day depending on how many patients are placed in the ICU and how long they stay.

In a general hospital, the cost of running an ICU can vary depending on a lot of factors such as facilities, staff salary, equipment usage, doctor’s salary and more. Additionally, each hospital may also have a different pricing structure which means that every individual institution may have different rates of daily cost.

For example, a hospital with a bigger staff and an excellent medical team will most likely charge higher rates than others. For example, the average daily cost that hospitals in Japan charge patients ranges from ¥1,500-¥3,000 (USD$9-$22) without any of the additional equipment provided for the ICU. A hospital where less staff is used at lower salary will probably charge around ¥1,000 ($6) per day on average including all of the other equipment necessary to maintain proper patient care as well as house costs such as utilities.

These are just general guidelines that are used to calculate daily costs for an ICU in North America based on Japan’s general pricing structure. The prices vary between hospitals and further details can be obtained through specific interviews with the director and staff members in those hospitals.

Final Thoughts

ICU beds are so expensive following the features they come with. Nevertheless, they are life savers as the critically ill patients are usually the most vulnerable and need to be closely monitored with every minor change in their conditions. Hospitals may need to increase their prices and staff if they want to upgrade their ICU beds which will only benefit the patients being treated.

All individuals should inquire about what services a hospital provides and how much it costs. This helps individuals get a better understanding of what kind of ICU bed they should purchase or obtain through their insurance program.

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