Obese patients can ride in new, larger ambulance


 
 

Adam Crisp Morris | | Friday, August 17, 2007


SAVANNAH, Ga. - Southside Fire and EMS has added a special-order ambulance meant for very obese patients to its fleet of emergency vehicles.

It's getting great business.

Southside is using the bariatric ambulance for anyone larger than 400 pounds. It has been used more than once a day since it was delivered in late June. The largest patient transported thus far weighed 730 pounds.

It's also being used to transport normal-weight patients, but special features, including a cot that can hold a 1,600-pound patient, are easing transport problems with larger patients.

"Before, we would have to get six to eight men to lift a stretcher and sometimes our EMTs would get hurt," said Assistant Chief Tim Genest. "Logistically it was difficult, and there were issues for the patient."

Anne Byerly, the nurse manager in the Emergency Department at Candler Hospital, said obese patients aren't unusual anymore.

"You can see the change," she said. National statistics "show a 50 percent increase in size since 1991."

In traditional ambulances, large patients often felt unstable because the standard cots weren't tested for extreme weights.

A patient's large girth also might hang over the edge and prevent the cot from securely connecting to a wall mount.

The new vehicle comes with a cot that fastens to the floor rather than at the sides.

The special vehicle cost $120,000, about $35,000 more than a conventional ambulance.

"When you think about how much it might cost if you have an employee with an injured back away from work, it might be a cost savings," Assistant Chief Genest said. "But on top of that, there's the concern about patient comfort and safety."

Some hospitals are making changes to accommodate obese patients, too. Candler purchased reinforced wheelchairs, larger waiting room seats and bigger blood pressure cuffs. It also has rolls of special plastic material that can be placed under a patient to help slide him or her from one cot to a hospital bed.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Vehicle Ops

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >