Bedside services

Bedside service outlets must conform to national standards (including electrical safety and emergency supply). Three oxygen, two air, four suction, and 16 electrical power outlets are appropriate for a high-level ICU. Outlets for portable X-ray machines should be easily accessible from each bed. Provision for gas scavenging should be considered; use of nitric oxide (and possibly other gases) may become more common. Bedside services are usually mounted at the wall, as beds are traditionally placed with the head towards the wall. The design of wall-mounted service outlets must allow for rapid access to the patient's head in emergencies. Other designs offering easier head access provide services through a floor column or overhead pendant; the bed effectively becomes an island. However, space to place extra monitoring equipment can be limited with these alternative designs. Equipment should be kept off the floor as much as possible, but mounted equipment and shelves for portable equipment should not be sited too high for nurses to reach. There must be adequate facilities to hang intravenous and blood containers. Outlets for a telephone, radio, and television at each bed can be planned, even though they may not be commonly used.

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