1EMT-P

Bariatric Patients

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How does your EMS agency handle bariatric patients? Do they send additional resources? Do they have specialized equipment to move these patients?

I’ve noticed that my patients seem to be getting bigger with complex health problems, but yet we aren’t being given any additional resources. 

 

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well I'm not really working in EMS - I'm actually trying to get a Trauma Analyst position so hopefully will get good news soon. 

 

but I know that many of the agencies in my area have dedicated Bariatric units.  For transfers especially they will send the bariatric unit as well as a fire truck to help with lifting.  

As for on scene (non hosp), the responding unit will get there and determine if it's bariatric and they will call for the bariatric unit.  I think KC MO has 3 Bariatric ambulances so the response time isn't terrible unless all bariatric trucks are already on calls.  

 

As for smaller services who cannot afford to purchase or man a designated bariatric truck,  hope fully they have a network of fire departments/first responders who can help out.  

That's what I know.  I do have a couple of friends on different departments in the KC area that would probably be willing to chat with you if you have further questions.  

 

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I ran a call on an 800lb+ person. He was unresponsive, and we couldn't even get our ambulance onto his property because of mud. We called a bariatric truck 3 hours away, and we worked on extricating him from the residence to the road while we waited. We loaded his hospital bed onto a flatbed trailer(2 of the wheels broke on the bed), we had to take the door frame off of the double French doors to fit him out, and it took a small army of people. Eventually we loaded his mattress into the bariatric truck, and secured him with webbing. He was too big for the bariatric truck, but we had no safer options. The entire time the family was yelling at us for it taking so long. Terrible call, but he turned out to be ok. After he recovered and lost about 150lbs they put him back in that house so some day another crew will have to probably do the exact same thing to get him out. In our area we don't really have resources for bariatric patients. It's frustrating to me that people put themselves into those types of situations and then get mad when we aren't able to handle it quickly.

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