# Best practice: How to weigh someone in a bed

Following on from our previous ‘best practice’ blog posts, ‘how to use hoist scales’ and ‘how to weigh someone in a wheelchair’ - our latest blog post looks at how best to weigh bed-bound patients.

Bed weighing scales are used if the patient is bed-bound and unable to move.

But not every bed weighing scale is the same - each has different strengths making them suitable for a variety of patient needs. But how do you use your bed scale? This blog post explains.

Preparing for weighing

The greatest benefit of a Marsden bed scale is that a patient can be weighed without having to leave their bed. Our range of bed scales have a number of features that make this possible.

If you are using a portable bed scale (the M-950 or M-955) make sure you have these to hand at the point you wish to weigh. When using these bed scales, not only can the patient stay in their bed - they don’t even need to move to another room for weighing.

Our M-910, M-920 and M-925 scales are more permanent bed weighing solutions which require the patient and bed to be moved to where these scales are located; however, once there, weighing a patient using these scales is quick and straightforward.

Bear in mind, when weighing a bed-bound patient, that although the weight of clothes can be removed from the weighing scale’s display by using the Tare function, this would require the removal of the clothes to get their weight in the first place; therefore, you may wish to simply bear in mind the weight of the clothes when you record the patient’s weight.

If you consistently weigh the patient in their clothes, however, their weight readings will be more consistent, too.

The Tare function

A highly useful feature of our bed scales is the Preset Tare function.

Using Tare allows you to remove the weight of the bed from the reading, so only the weight of the patient is displayed. But Preset Tare means you won’t need to weigh the bed and tare off this weight every time you weigh a patient.

Every bed weighing scale from Marsden uses the DP-3810 indicator - so regardless of which bed scale you are using, the Preset Tare function is used in the same way. Simply hold down the Tare button and five units will show. Press the Tare button again and the left digit will flash - you can then enter the weight manually that you wish to deduct.

The M-950 and M-955 are both portable bed weighing systems - consisting of four pads, a trolley and an indicator.

To set up, take each pad to a corner of the bed and position next to the castors. The colour-coded cables are then used to connect the scale pads to the indicator. Turn the scale on and push the bed onto the pads. You can then use Tare as described above.

Although the M-910, M-920 and M-925 all have their own unique strengths, these scales are all set up in the same way. Each of these scales can also be built to specification.

The M-910 is fitted with extra long ramps. The M-925 is constructed from stainless steel which means they can be used in harsher environments - for example weighing trolleys coming into the hospital.

The scale sits on the floor of the hospital or care home. Simply switch the scale on, and slowly wheel the bed onto the scale.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is also just as easy to calculate on any Marsden bed weighing scale.

To use, press the BMI button and you will be able to key in the height of the patient using the numeric keypad.

When this information is submitted, the scale will automatically calculate BMI.

View our range of bed weighing scales here. You can download a user manual for each of the scales via the relevant product page on this website.