Some patients cannot safely leave their beds to bathe. For these people, daily bed baths can help keep their skin healthy, control odor, and increase comfort. If moving the patient causes pain, plan to give the patient a bed bath after the person has received pain medicine and it has taken affect.
A bed bath is a good time to inspect a patient's skin for redness and sores. Pay special attention to skin folds and bony areas when checking.
If you wash the patient's hair, use either a dry shampoo that combs out or a basin that is designed for washing hair in bed. This kind of basin has a tube in the bottom that allows you to keep the bed dry before you later drain the water.
Bed bath; Sponge bath
Timby BK. Assisting with basic needs. In: Fundamentals of nursing skills and concepts. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkens. 2013: unit 5.
Updated by: Dennis Ogiela, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Danbury Hospital, Danbury, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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