Clinitron Bed questions!

Nurses General Nursing


 So I posted a bit about myself yesterday explaining that I'm not actually a nurse, but due to my life long medical conditions, and being in hospitals so many times, I just know the medical field, and study it very thoroughly, I have joined allnurses!


   I love to learn, and one of my many aspects of the medical field I like to study, is specialty beds. I find those very interesting to learn about. I've studied the Clinitron bed as best as I could for years, but there was limited info that I could get my hands on. I've looked for the User's Manual online, and can't find it. I called Hill-Rom, but they now work with Baxter, and the training modules of the Clinitron bed don't exist anymore. I've never gotten the chance to ask a nurse questions about these beds before. But I've accumulated so many questions about these types of beds, that it's not even funny. I know it's not typical for a patient to be asking these types of a questions, but I'm a patient who thinks like a medical professional. I've studied the medical field THAT MUCH!!! So It's going to be weird as I post questions in the allnurses community, but I'll do it in a professional way as best as I possibly can.


   As for the Clinitron beds. I want to know more about these beds than I do. I understand that these are silicone coated ceramic beads. I know they are inside of an air mattress, and there's a blower that blows air thus blowing this sand/Beads,  in a manner that essentially creates a fluid like material. This allows the patient to float essentially and helps reduce pressure on the skin to allow pressure ulcers to heal. There is a hospital version, and a home version of the Clinitron beds. The Clinitron bed also blows heated air through the beads! 


   There are things I don't understand about the bed. Keep in mind, I am legally blind. I can see sme, but not that much. I know there are the silicone coated ceramic beads in the air mattress. But what I don't understand is isn't there also those beads in the bottom of the bed? Somebody said the Clinitron bed is shaped like a bathtub, but there are several versions of the Clinitron, being that they were developed in the 1960s by tHill-Rom.


   I've been in ICU beds, but I've never actually had to be in a Clinitron bed, for which I AM VERY THANKFUL, because I've never had a pressure ulcer that severe. I've come close, but thankfully never needed this type of air fluidized bed. I want to learn more about the Clinitron bed. Being that I can't find the manual, and It's been YEARS since I took the training module on the bed that Hill-Rom had, I'm trying to refresh my mind on what bit I was able to learn about the Clinitron beds. If someone could help describe what this bed looked like, It'd help me understand it better I think. I know the beds have now been replaced with new sand beds, like the Hill-Rom Envella bed. There's suppose to be a training module on this bed, but I can't locate it. So to those who read this, and can answer my questions, (THANK YOU!) Have a great day, and GOD BLESS!!

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC.

I've only had two patients with clinitron beds, both were dealing with very severe decubitus ulcers due to paraplegia. The ones that were in my hospital had a hard wood like edge surrounding the sand/mattress portion. That frame was strong enough that staff could lean on it, it was probably 4-6 inches wide. Then the sand mattress sat flush with the wooden frame. There was a trapeze set up for both of the patients I had so that they could pull themselves up to change position if they wanted. Neither of them really like the bed because it remained totally flat and they could only sit up as high as pillows would allow. But then again with their decubitus injuries, sitting position is what got them into trouble in the first place. It was also pretty noisy. But they seemed effective. 

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

My experience with Clinitron beds started in mid 80's when first appeared in the hospital.  In 1989, I brought my bedbound mother-in law (who had advanced Multiple sclerosis, Ovarian Cancer with severe pain when touched/moved despite Dilaudid continuous IV ) home with this bed   Patients with multiple decubitus especially in those paralyzed, post skin graft, and burns had faster healing after being placed in these beds.  Going into homecare office 20yrs ago. things might be different with newest product.

Picture of original Hill-Rom Clinitron Bed -- had hard edge, difficulty to lean over and provide care


Current Hill Rom Envella bed brochure.

Science behind how air-fluidized bed works: 


Envella inservice video:


Clinical issues to know about these beds:
1. Make sure bed is pluggedin, especially if there is a hospital power failure as sand like glass beads will immediately become rigid hard increasing pressure on wound.  Each shift make sure plug is fully into the wall + after equipment moved around the bed.  
2.  Cannot transport patients in this bed-transfer to regular bed/stretcher for trnaport to imaging or off unit.
3.  Only use 1 draw sheet beneath client to facilitate turning.  Specialty incontience pad without plastic backing-- (Hill Rom provided in the past) to allow air flow to keep beads suspended.  Drainage would pass through permiable cover to be absorbed and fall to the bottom. Company would come every 1-2 weeks to remove beads at bottom and change specialty cover.  Rarely, sand like bead would be found on top of bed cover --so vigilantly assess patients skin.  Think I remember a patch to apply to any ripped area with DME comapny notified promptly for replacement.
4.  Since air flow increased to skin, higher chance of dehydration-ensure adequate hydration.
5. Skin lotions -do not use oil based as clogged beads.

Any newer tips from our AN members?

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