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chappy

How much is too much?

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For those of you who don't know me, I work for a convalescent service. Recently, I had was injured at work (a minor injury and I'm okay now. Thanks for asking!). My injury was the result of moving an obese patient. Over the last few weeks, we've had four different people go out with various injuries: Shoulder, back, etc. - all related to moving large patients.

So, my question is how much is too much. When do you call for lift assist? Are there any guidelines as to when a service should provide barbaric equipment and additional crew members?
What do you do if you ask for help and you're told to "suck it up."

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unfortunately obesity is at an epidemic stage in this country.

back in the day most two man stretchers were rated for 250-300 pounds max. Now they are all rated for 500 & many are rated for 750 pounds capacity.

There are even 1000 lb bariatric gurneys on the market, along with ramps & winch systems to pull the whales into the back of the truck.

Where we used to rarely see Pt's over 300 lbs they are becoming the norm and many Pt's are tipping the truck scales at 400-500 & even higher.

Common sense is that if you encounter an obese Pt that needs to be moved and you and your partner cannot 100% guarantee the safety of both you, your partner & most importantly the Pt, then you should be calling for help.

there is no set weight where this comes into play. A 250 pounder on the third floor and not able to use a tracked stairchair requires backup help.

A 400 + pounder on ground floor should be an automatic help call as you still have to get onto stretcher and into the back of the ambulance. Unless they are at grade level with no stair/ steps involved and you have the powerlift stretcher.

Try posing the question to your risk manager and see what the official company policy is.

One career ending back injury can be way more expensive than sending a second crew for the lift assist.

one dropped and injured Pt can bring a lawsuit costing the company millions.

Unless you work for the empire """ then they don't care if you get hurt as long as you earn them revenue. :confused:

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The answer is plain and simple.

If you and your partner believe that you cannot lift a patient safely, then you call for a lift assist. Don't give it a second thought.

I can't count the number of times I've called for a lift assist. My back is worth millions more than the temporary inconvenience of the sleep or rest of a fire crew or another one of my ems crews. My EMS crew mates also know that they can call me any time to ask for lift assists as well.

Hell, if I am at home and not doing anything, they can call me on my cell and I will come help them lift the patient as well.

No company gives a shit about your back, so its high time that we as providers start to!!!!! We are all one lift away from being a permanently disabled former provider. Protect your back, it's the only one you have.

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There can't be a set number in regard to the weight of the patient. There are medics in my service who would have difficulty lifting a 200 pound patient while others would have no problem at all. What every medic needs to do is determine his or her own limits and work with that. Hell, once I injured myself doing a cradle lift of a little old lady who weighed 85 pounds to get her out of her room and onto the cot. One wrong twist of the back as I was placing her on the cot and blammo.

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Hello Trevor: your royalness

good to see you are still hanging in there.

Still the high grand poobah of Kelvington?

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Indeed...It's been a rough couple of years.

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I agree with the above, it should be whenever you need it, as the weight itself is not always a determiner (do you have stairs, an awkward exit to the ambulance, are they 4 foot tall but 5 feet wide). Our general rule, is that any two person crew should be able to handle 300lbs on their own, anything above that needs a 3rd or 4th person, anything above 500 requires a team. In my area, the Fire Departments are usually very understanding and willing to provide a lift-assist (except at 3am), so use that resource if your company can't provide you with internal folks.

I come from the days of two-man stretchers, where we had to lift every patient from the ground or to the ground on the stretcher, luckily in those days, we did not have many patients over 250lbs. With today's lard-asses, you need to use help when you can, you only have one spine, and the damage will probably show years after you lifted your last cow into the truck (not at the time).

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