Appendix 13. Cholera beds and chairs

13.1 Characteristics

Patients with cholera may have massive diarrhoea and often vomit.
They must be placed on a pierced bed or chair.

Stools are collected in a bucket positioned under the patient, to improve comfort and avoid the pathogen spreading into the environment.
A second bucket is positioned near the bed or chair to collect vomit.

The beds and chairs must be waterproof, washable, easy to disinfect between two patients and, if possible, easy to store when the outbreak is over1 .

The size of the hole in the bed or chair depends on the age of the patient: 20 cm for adults; 10 cm for children.
The bed should be high enough to position a bucket underneath to collect the stools. However, if the bed is over 70 cm high there is a risk of the excreta splashing. The buckets should not be covered while they are in use: nevertheless they should preferably be covered when transporting the stools and vomit to the dedicated excreta pit.

13.2 Use

All patients patients receiving infusion therapy or severely ill (e.g., with a concomitant infection such as malaria) or who spend the night in a CTC/CTU, need a bed.

Patients on short term oral treatment (a few hours or one day) and who are doing well (conscious, cooperative, have no serious problems) can be placed on a chair.

When a bed is not needed, it is always better to place a patient on a pierced chair than on a normal, unpierced chair or on the floor.
Pierced chairs are sufficient in ORPs.
CTCs/CTUs can have pierced chairs for patients on oral treatments (Plan A or B) and in recovery phase, as long as treatment is given during the day. Where there is little space, it is better to use pierced chairs to save space and to monitor patients until treatment is completed rather than send patients home too early because of a lack of beds.

13.3 Examples

Ref Notes
1 If this is not possible, mats can be used but they must be changed between each patient and burned as they are not washable.