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Rising American obesity rate poses challenge for emergency services

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posted on Oct, 20 2007 @ 12:36 PM

A growing number of extremely obese Americans are posing new problems when it comes to emergency medical care. The number of "super obese" patients, with a body mass index above 50, has jumped from one in 2,000 to one in 400 in less than 15 years.

Click here for larger video Transporting and treating them has putting a strain on medical workers.

The flashing lights of an ambulance are reassuring signs that help is on the way, but according to a study published in the journal, Annals of Emergency Medicine, EMS workers and hospitals are struggling to handle an increasing number of super obese patients.

In Austin, some of them are using specialized equipment to treat them.

“A normal stretcher has a maximum lift of 600 pounds. This stretcher is rated for 800 pounds in the up position and 1,600 pounds in the down position,” said Thom Seeber, the clinical education services manager for American Medical Response, a private ambulance service.

i was wondering .... do americans eat too many Mc blimpburgers that they reach such titanic proportions

[edit on 20-10-2007 by manson_322]

posted on Oct, 20 2007 @ 09:42 PM
reply to post by manson_322

Just more prejudice against the morbidly obese!

posted on Oct, 20 2007 @ 09:52 PM
reply to post by smitten

Perhaps, but it does present a sig. problem for transport. While im not morbidly obses I carry more pounds then I need by a long shot and that does effect range / performance etc.

Also 600 lbs is not the usual rating of a standard EMS gurney by a long shot. 300 is more typical. Our gurney we use for grount cct transports maxes out at 360 lbs. However, because the type of tranpsorts we do, with the defrib., vent, monitors, and other equipment our effective patient max is 180 lbs. (Remember the EMTS have to be able to safely get the gurney into the rig as well). For most peds transports its okay but we get some big kids. If they are sick we may not be able to pick them up esp if the need the vent etc.

MRI's also have limitations as well as to how big you can be to fit.

It is not an attack on the obese, but rather an acknowledgment of the logistical relaities faced when caring for these patients


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