A biobed was the standard diagnostic bed available in a sickbay. Physicals, surgeries, and other medical procedures were all performed on biobeds. These were sometimes identified as an examination table or examining table.
These were biobeds in their simplest form.
In 2269, a Vendorian spy aboard the USS Enterprise who had previously taken the form of Carter Winston, assumed the form of an examination table in an attempt to elude capture. James T. Kirk recognized that there were three tables where there had previously been two and threatened the Vendorian with a vial of orientine acid if he didn't reappear. The empty threat worked. (TAS: "The Survivor")
In 2374, Seven of Nine recalled being restrained on an examination table by Kovin and other Entharans. Upon a visit to his laboratory to investigate her claims, no such tables were found. (VOY: "Retrospect")
The primary biobed in sickbay was designed for surgical purposes, although it was also the default bed for examinations conducted by the chief medical officer. It had various hookups for surgical equipment, and was typically covered by a large sensor cluster. Surgical beds usually had a large display for vital signs and other information adjacent to the bed. Serious surgeries usually required a larger biobed with more specialized sensors and surgical equipment. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II", "Ethics") The biobeds were also equipped with restraining force fields. (TNG: "Time Squared")
- See: Operating table
Other biobeds lined the perimeter of sickbay. These beds were generally used for patients under intensive care or in recovery. Information on a patients' medical status was typically displayed on a biofunction monitor at the head of the bed.
A biobed could be modified for stasis purposes. A patient too critically injured for a starship crew to care for at present could be placed in suspended animation. They could then be revived once help arrived or a crisis situation was resolved. (TNG: "Genesis") Stasis beds could be used for other purposes as well, such as supporting a holographic chamber or a bio-temporal chamber. (VOY: "Phage", "Before and After")
Another type of biobed was designed for OB/GYN purposes. It was reclined and styled like a chair. It was generally used for deliveries. (TNG: "The Child") Not all starships had this type of bed available, however. The USS Voyager used a standard biobed for both children born aboard that vessel (Naomi Wildman and Miral Paris). (VOY: "Deadlock", "Endgame")