Useful Tips About Bariatric Air Transport
Around one-third of the U.S population are termed ‘overweight.’ An individual that has an excess body fat of 100 pounds over their ideal body weight is generally termed as obese. Moving bariatric patients from one location to another can be challenging and stressful. However, with a professional bariatric air transport service, these challenges can be dealt with, and you or your loved one that needs bariatric transport will be adequately taken care of while in transit.
Huge emphasis must be placed on prior preparation for an effective bariatric air transport service. This will include plans made ahead of time for special arrangements regarding the dispatch procedure and methods for receiving or transporting the patient at the destination point.
One of the first points to consider would be the initial reception of the bariatric patient. Sometimes, this would have to be done at a remote location, congested residential area, or even from an accident scene. In many instances, there will be a need for a proper extraction or lifting process of the patient involved.
Also, a bariatric patient must be treated with the same dignity and respect as every other regular patient. Therefore, in instances where the patient may need a change of clothing before being airlifted, provisions must be made for large-sized blankets and gowns.
Standard aircraft doors may not fit obese people. Thus, it is crucial that the dimension of the door is duly considered with respect to the size of the bariatric patient, and that a unique loading mechanism is available to help make the transport of the patient unto the aircraft comfortable and hassle-free. Also, based on the weight limit of the aircraft, the number of health personnel accompanying the patient would need to be taken into consideration.
There is the likely possibility that standard stretchers and other immobilization equipment may be inadequate for an obese patient. Thus, pre-planned arrangements must account for this. Nonetheless, the team in charge of transporting the bariatric patient must ensure that none of the stretchers, clamps or immobilization equipment fits too tightly on the body of the patient due to their size. There is a considerable risk of blood flow restriction if this happens. Sandbags and towels can be resorted to eventually if other means of restraint prove unsuccessful.
Furthermore, to lessen the risk of decubitus, obese patients may require extra paddings on their stretcher. Also, it is better to have the patient on one carefully chosen and padded stretcher/bed for the entire duration of the transit. The stretcher should also be equipped with several monitoring devices to keep continuous track of the vitals of the patient.
Intravenous access may also be required, and this will require longer IM needles to administer medication to the right part of the body if need be. Also, standard blood pressure cuffs may likely not fit, so there is a need to have most of the conventional medical devices and tools in larger sizes. In some cases, a change in air pressure can leave bariatric patients susceptible to fat emboli, and thus, they may need to be administered oxygen. In most cases, pain medication or light sedatives can be applied to ease any anxiety issues.
Not all air medical transport services can cater to the needs of a bariatric patient. Therefore, there is a need to emphasize specialty and professionalism when choosing a bariatric air transport service.