Fire EMS

Treatment/Transport of Bariatric Patients

Issue 5 and Volume 165.

By KAREN OWENS Scenario: You are dispatched to a victim with chest pain and difficulty breathing at a nearby residence. On arrival, you conduct a quick survey of the residence as you walk to the door; nothing appears to be out of the ordinary. You are directed to the back bedroom, where you find your patient: a severely overweight female with obvious signs of respiratory distress. Every week you hear stories about how the average weight of the nation is increasing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2007-2008, 32.2 percent of adult men and 35.5 percent of adult women were considered obese.1 Although the growth of that percentage has slowed some, as medics we have the opportunity every day to face an obese patient. A 2009 report from the CDC found that 33 states had a 25 percent or greater prevalence of obesity; nine had…

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