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If you’re one of the millions of Americans who don’t know what a bariatric ambulance is, you’re not alone. Unlike traditional ambulances, bariatric ambulances have extra-wide interiors and specialized lifting gear to accommodate larger patients. For example, bariatric stretchers are equipped with specially designed lifting gear to help you carry patients in a comfortable position. But why should you have one?
The bariatric patient poses unique challenges to the EMS personnel and equipment. Bariatric patients are typically 100-200 pounds overweight with a total body weight greater than 300 pounds. Bariatric protocols are not activated until a patient reaches 350 pounds. To make sure the safety of bariatric patients and the ambulance crew, bariatric protocol training is essential. To learn more, read this article.
The first step is education. In the US, approximately 30% of adult patients are overweight or obese. Bariatric ambulance training should address the special needs of these patients. EMS departments should educate themselves about bariatric patient safety and implement a comprehensive curriculum to teach their personnel how to deal with these patients. In addition to the safety of bariatric patients, EMS providers should evaluate their own training and equipment to ensure their ability to treat these patients.
Ambulances that are equipped to transport bariatric patients should have several pieces of special bariatric equipment. These ambulances are typically equipped with specialized equipment and the crew members are highly trained. Bariatric patients have special needs and require respect and privacy while in the ambulance, as well as on-site supervision during transport. Bariatric ambulance equipment is available for purchase and rental, and can reduce the risk of injury by up to 70%.
Those looking for bariatric ambulances should start by reviewing the capabilities of their potential fleet. A bariatric ambulance may have a longer girth than the average patient. It may also have more specialized features, such as bariatric lateral transfer. This type of ambulance may also have special equipment for lifting heavy patients, which includes reinforced lifting sheets. Global Air Ambulance also has specialized bariatric lateral transfer and positioning devices.
Although there is a lack of research in this area, this study shows that bariatric ambulance training can enhance the skills of paramedics and improve their knowledge of this special population. The training included a three-hour pre and post-test, which assessed the participants’ knowledge and experience in bariatric transport. This study also demonstrated that paramedics who attended the training were more confident in their performance and ability to guide other paramedics in their work. The study also found that those who participated in the training were more likely to guide other members of the team, speak up when others are performing the wrong task, and execute procedures with controlled emotion.
The program was developed in collaboration with local EMS providers, including John Gallagher, EMS chief at Clinton Township Fire Department, Joel Britt, and Chris Watts, education coordinator at Medstar EMS. In addition to presenting realistic patient vignettes, the training also includes live simulations to help learners understand how to care for this particular population. In addition, the program includes a simulation of bariatric ambulance procedures.
Ambulance services are upgrading their ambulances to accommodate obese patients. They’re adding large patient compartments, stronger gurneys, and winches for loading and unloading patients. In 2011, AMR charged $629 per bariatric patient to transport them from the hospital to the hospital. Medicare and Medicaid patients will keep this $629, while the private insurance patient will pay the full $1172. These costs are expected to continue to rise over the next few years.
The average bariatric patient weighs 350-650 pounds. Many are suffering from respiratory issues, diabetes, or heart disease. The bariatric patient typically requires four or five crew members to safely move them. The new bariatric gear makes it possible for three crew members to move the same patient in a more efficient way. It will save on cost for both the ambulance company and the patient. Whether you’re looking for a specialized ambulance, or a standard model, make sure to check the cost of bariatric transportation.
Dispatching a bariatric ambulance poses a unique set of challenges for EMS providers. A bariatric ambulance has special equipment and personnel that must be kept in tip-top shape, and it must be operated in a manner that respects the dignity of the patient. If you need help dispatching a bariatric ambulance, here are some tips to remember. After all, no one should ever have to experience these difficulties alone.
First, you should understand that bariatric ambulances cost more than standard ambulances. This charge is sometimes justified on the basis of the extra expenses and risk associated with this type of vehicle. If you need an ambulance for a bariatric patient, make sure to hire an agency that can handle the additional workload. Many agencies outfit specialized bariatric ambulances with special lift teams and large body stretchers. The vehicles may also have ramps, winches, and heavy-duty stretchers.
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