Thursday, July 30, 2009

If I had a nickel for every time....

We have to move someone from their Jazzy to the stretcher.

Four-hundred-, 600- and even 800-pound patients are presenting ambulance crews with some big challenges.

As obesity rates rise, paramedics in Nebraska and Iowa are faced with carrying more obese patients. In turn, paramedics find creative ways to move them, and some fire departments are looking to borrow or buy specialized equipment.

Lincoln Fire & Rescue, for example, is considering putting a construction crane and a forklift on call for patients who are too big to get out a door or down steps. Firefighters had to use a tarp to haul an 800-pound patient a few years ago.

It's another example of how obesity can strain the health care system, whether that's hospitals or ambulance crews. The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha in recent years has purchased heavy-duty beds and wheelchairs for obese patients.

Rest at the link.

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