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Posted: 3/31/2006 9:55:11 PM EDT


www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/03/31/hospital.obesity.ap/index.html

Heavy patients put strain on hospitals
Hospitals learn to deal with growing number of very obese patients

Friday, March 31, 2006; Posted: 5:41 p.m. EST (22:41 GMT)


ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Going to the hospital is rarely fun. If you weigh over 300 pounds like Beth Henk, it can be embarrassing.

"I've flipped an exam table -- I sat on the end of it and it just flipped up," said Henk, whose weight peaked at 745. When her son was born three years ago, "I had to sit in the hospital bed the whole time -- the hospital's rocker wouldn't fit my butt."

Today Henk helps Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis find better ways to deal with the growing number of very obese patients, an issue for many U.S. hospitals. Barnes-Jewish is replacing beds and wheelchairs with bigger models, widening doorways, buying larger CT scan machines, even replacing slippers and gowns.

Last year, patient care director Colleen Becker decided to check the numbers. She looked at a daily hospital census -- about one-third of the 900 patients weighed 350 pounds or more.

Startled, Becker checked another date, then another. The numbers were consistent. On some days, half the patients were obese. Some weighed 500 pounds or more.

"We ran the data again to make sure we weren't hallucinating," Becker said. "We weren't. So we had to somehow figure out the appropriate supplies, equipment, training and care for the patients we're dealing with."

The answer was a "bariatric care team," which Henk serves on, to address the challenges posed by obese patients. Those challenges are many.

Hospitals around the nation are working with equipment suppliers to accommodate larger patients, said Elizabeth Lietz, a spokeswoman for the American Hospital Association. And it's not just for the patients.

ATF Healthcare, a union representing 70,000 nurses and other workers at hospitals in 18 states, last week called for new laws forcing hospitals to buy equipment such as portable hoists to prevent worker injuries.

A union-commissioned survey of more than 900 nurses and X-ray technicians found the majority have chronic pain or have suffered injuries from lifting and moving patients.

At Barnes-Jewish, lift machines help some patients get in and out of bed. Chairs have been made stronger and wider. Lights have been added at floor level because the bodies of extremely obese people can cast a shadow that makes it hard to see the floor.

The hospital is replacing many of its beds -- built to handle people weighing up to 350 pounds -- with beds for 500-pound patients.

"Three-hundred-fifty pounds is nowhere near what we need for beds now," said Art Kidrow, a nurse manager at Barnes-Jewish. "We've had some 650-pounders up here."


Some wings of Barnes-Jewish are replacing 36-inch-wide doorways with those that are 48 or 52 inches wide. The bathrooms are being fitted with floor-mounted commodes that can't be pulled out of the wall, and rooms reconfigured so patients can essentially get out of bed and step into the bathroom.

Gowns are bigger. Wheelchairs are wider. Even hospital-issued slippers come in extra-large sizes because the standard-issued footies were cutting off circulation for some patients.

Issues extend beyond the patient's room. Operating tables have been widened because the girth of some patients was lapping over the table, in some cases all the way to the floor, Becker said. CT scan machines weren't wide enough. Syringes with the longest available needles -- 4 1/2 inches -- couldn't penetrate the fat.

Along with doctors and nurses, the hospital's 30-member bariatric care team includes former patients like Henk and people from the hospital's engineering and housekeeping units.

Henk, 41, represents both patients and those who try to help the obese -- she is program manager for Washington University's weight management program.

She's been heavy for as long as she can remember -- she was in Weight Watchers by age 5. "Everybody in my family is at least 100 pounds overweight," she said.

Gastric bypass surgery seven years ago helped her shed some weight, but she's dropped to 315 pounds mostly through better eating and exercise.

Still, she knows what larger people go through at the hospital.

"I believe in dignity for whomever you are," Henk said. "It can be scary, too. If people are trying to lift you up and somebody doesn't have the strength, it's very scary."

Based on recommendations from the team, Barnes-Jewish has developed a protocol for lifting heavy patients.

The hospital is also working with suppliers. Manufacturers now offer more than 1,000 items specifically for obese patients, said Sandy Wise, of Novation LLC, a Texas-based company that provides contracting services between hospitals and manufacturers.

"It's been a trend probably for the last four or five years," Wise said. "Hospitals are continuing to see an increase in obese patients, and it affects every department. You have to think of the patient from head to toe, everything they do in the hospital until they walk out the door or they die."

In fact, Barnes-Jewish is striving to make even the end more dignified. Becker said the law requires a leak-proof body bag. Some patients were so large they wouldn't fit in them. The hospital is working with a vendor to develop a wider bag.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:57:15 PM EDT
it always baffles me how people can let themselves go like that. i mean, if you can't see your feet, shouldnt it be a red flag? have some self discipline. it's not genetics, it's not a conspiracy, it's not the media: just don't eat so fucking much!
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:08:07 PM EDT
When people ask "How can I lose this fat around my belly?" my standard answer is duct tape..

over your mouth!! It keeps the cookies from getting in there
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:17:00 PM EDT
My hospital has a special attraction for these people. We have one of the busiest bariatric units in ATL. Sometimes I have to walk down the halls like I am playing frogger to get from one side of the hospital to the other.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:20:16 PM EDT
As an aside - Barnes hospital is awesome!

It was already the largest hospital in the U.S. before it acquired Jewish, and became the Barnes-Jewish monster it is today

Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:32:14 PM EDT
I don't see much wrong with being overweight, as long as you're otherwise healthy. I, myself, could do to lose about 30-40 lbs and be in good shape.


However, 500lbs is fucking ridiculous. Cut off your fingers, sew your mouth shut, live in Rowanda for 10 months - I don't fucking care, but lose the weight.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:42:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:43:36 PM EDT
It's exercise more than it is eating.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:46:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Airwolf:
Issues extend beyond the patient's room. Operating tables have been widened because the girth of some patients was lapping over the table, in some cases all the way to the floor, Becker said. CT scan machines weren't wide enough. Syringes with the longest available needles -- 4 1/2 inches -- couldn't penetrate the fat.



Bwahahahah!
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:06:50 PM EDT
What are their arfcom screen names?
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:10:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:
junior.apk.net/~scotts/pizzahut.jpg



HAHA! I just watched that movie the other day! A classic!

Pizza The Hut!
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:56:24 AM EDT
I've got a friend who's a paramedic - he spent a few weeks on disabiliy after moving a 700 lb woman out of a walk-up building in NYC. That's just insane.

I recommend locking ball gags - but that's just me.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 2:02:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Reload_em:
When people ask "How can I lose this fat around my belly?" my standard answer is duct tape..

over your mouth!! It keeps the cookies from getting in there





Or maybe WALK to the store to buy your 5 gallon tub of haggen das instead of riding your lark, hoveround, or whatever they call those fat-bastard go carts these days..
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 4:26:55 AM EDT
Someone needs to say it so I will, "Push away from the dinner table."
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 4:35:25 AM EDT
Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho..
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 4:41:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VaultDweller:

Originally Posted By Reload_em:
When people ask "How can I lose this fat around my belly?" my standard answer is duct tape..

over your mouth!! It keeps the cookies from getting in there





Or maybe WALK to the store to buy your 5 gallon tub of haggen das instead of riding your lark, hoveround, or whatever they call those fat-bastard go carts these days..





Link Posted: 4/1/2006 4:50:21 AM EDT
Hospitals and insurance companies should charge by the pound.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:03:24 AM EDT
Just wanted to interject something here. Overweight people are REWARDED for being that way. Come on think about it. You get too fat and you can get disability. That is a reward.

No money = No food. The second thing I want to say that Fat People don't get that way on their own. someone has to be bringing them food. Again if they are getting delivery they need money to pay for it. No Disability money means no Food money.

If someone can afford food and want to eat alot of it. Well good for them! As long as it is not my money. That is why we are in debt up to our ears. Too many social programs that are feel good measures with big unintended consequences.

Yeah some people have genes that make the body store more fat than most people but JEEZ. When you can't fit through a friggin door its time to stop eating.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:12:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2006 5:12:45 AM EDT by stenmk1]
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:16:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2006 5:17:12 AM EDT by spartacus2002]

Originally Posted By stenmk1:



I dunno if it's a joke or not, but CNN would usually not make a funny story like this, lest they piss off the fatass population...

ETA would not surprise me at all if it is true. I have fat acquaintances, and dinnertime is like a religious experience for them -- they actually go into an post-coital trance afterward. Fucking GROSS
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:21:30 AM EDT
Take a look around when you go out, people are fatter than f*Ck these days...
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:42:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NME:
Take a look around when you go out, people are fatter than f*Ck these days...




What do you mean "go out"?

You mean actually get up off my ass and move?



Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:44:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By NME:
Take a look around when you go out, people are fatter than f*Ck these days...




What do you mean "go out"?

You mean actually get up off my ass and move?






Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:58:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By clement:
It's exercise more than it is eating.



I agree. Your metabolism isn't going to do shit if all you do is sit on the couch all day and inhale supersized Big Mac meals.

It's actually scary how fast you can pile it on if constantly immobile. I had a groin lymph node dissection last summer and was immobolised for quite a while due to a very slow healing process and the resultant lymphedema. I gained ten-fifteen pounds, which I've been struggling to lose ever since. Thankfully, the last stubborn five pounds just melted off due to having the stomach flu this week. I never realised before that how easy it is to gain weight if you have an extremely sedentary lifestyle.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:10:53 AM EDT
I really, really hate fat people. They should be send to camps.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:13:27 AM EDT
"I've flipped an exam table -- I sat on the end of it and it just flipped up," said Henk, whose weight peaked at 745. When her son was born three years ago, "I had to sit in the hospital bed the whole time -- the hospital's rocker wouldn't fit my butt. My butt wouldn't fit the hospital's rocker."
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:20:54 AM EDT
a few years ago when i worked at a local hospital, some of the patients were so fat we had to wheel them to the loading dock to get an actual weight on them, and ive also had to use the loading dock before to unload huge patients from the ambulance because we couldnt get enough people around the coat to lower them to the ground.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:24:27 AM EDT

Morbid obesity should be a self-limiting disease.

If your so fucking fat that even the longest needle can't penetrate your blubber, too fucking bad.


Link Posted: 4/1/2006 8:34:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 8:36:38 AM EDT
Morbid Obesity is self limiting; They don't live to a very ripe old age ....

If you ever see any of those freak shows on super fat 1000+ lb'rs have to cut a hole in the house to get them out types . Every one of the Jabba's has an enabler who keeps feeding and feeding ans feeding them .
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 9:22:57 AM EDT
Note to self: Buy a forklift company. Sell to hospitals.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 10:27:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gman350:
Note to self: Buy a forklift company. Sell to hospitals.



Buy engine hoists, paint them white, add a homemade fatass lifting bracket. I'll bet you couldn't charge enough to keep from being constantly sold out.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:51:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Morbid obesity should be a self-limiting disease.

If your so fucking fat that even the longest needle can't penetrate your blubber, too fucking bad.





I was doing a spinal tap on a morbidly obese woman once and the ER staff referred to the procedure as "harpooning".
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:54:30 PM EDT


New ambulance.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:56:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:
junior.apk.net/~scotts/pizzahut.jpg




Chet Donnelly!
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:58:22 PM EDT
Out OR tables are limited to about 350lbs as are most equipment.

CTs and MRIs are a big problem because the hole is too small for these large folks. We routinely send them to the Detroit Zoo. They have one that can scan hippos and elephants.

Yup we use our loading dock scale all the time. Kind of sad.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:59:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDOC:
Out OR tables are limited to about 350lbs as are most equipment.

CTs and MRIs are a big problem because the hole is too small for these large folks. We routinely send them to the Detroit Zoo. They have one that can scan hippos and elephants.

Yup we use our loading dock scale all the time. Kind of sad.



rofl..

I bet that hurts their self-esteem.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:04:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:

Originally Posted By ARDOC:
Out OR tables are limited to about 350lbs as are most equipment.

CTs and MRIs are a big problem because the hole is too small for these large folks. We routinely send them to the Detroit Zoo. They have one that can scan hippos and elephants.

Yup we use our loading dock scale all the time. Kind of sad.



rofl..

I bet that hurts their self-esteem.



That's EXACTLY what I was thinking. You'd think they might just get the hint when the have to use an MRI intended for fucking HIPPOS AND ELEPHANTS!

Damn, I thought I was a fat ass at 260lbs and 6'. I am overweight but damn, how do you manage to breathe heaving 500 lbs of fat?
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:07:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Morbid obesity should be a self-limiting disease.

If your so fucking fat that even the longest needle can't penetrate your blubber, too fucking bad.





I was doing a spinal tap on a morbidly obese woman once and the ER staff referred to the procedure as "harpooning".



Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:08:52 PM EDT
OK, I have a good one.

We get a call from the ER that a lady is pregnant. They cant get her out of the EMS unit because there is no bed strong or large enough for her in the ER.

Not to mention it took 6 firemen to put her into the unit in the first place. We estimated she weighed 900lbs or so.

First question, the most obivous one. Who had sex with her. Considering the responses to some of our threads with ID hit it! Its most likely one of our more desperate member. What it has been several years since Taxman even spoke to a women?

Second where is the hole? Before you guys say roll her in flour, she is TOO BIG to roll. Kind of jabba like immobile.

Third, you better have looooonnnnnng dick or you are going to be slaming fat and never reach the good stuff.

But anyway, you should have heard the sigh or relief when the lab called and said her hormones were normal and not pregnant.

Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:17:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDOC:
OK, I have a good one.

We get a call from the ER that a lady is pregnant. They cant get her out of the EMS unit because there is no bed strong or large enough for her in the ER.

Not to mention it took 6 firemen to put her into the unit in the first place. We estimated she weighed 900lbs or so.

First question, the most obivous one. Who had sex with her. Considering the responses to some of our threads with ID hit it! Its most likely one of our more desperate member. What it has been several years since Taxman even spoke to a women?

Second where is the hole? Before you guys say roll her in flour, she is TOO BIG to roll. Kind of jabba like immobile.

Third, you better have looooonnnnnng dick or you are going to be slaming fat and never reach the good stuff.

But anyway, you should have heard the sigh or relief when the lab called and said her hormones were normal and not pregnant.






Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:18:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By drjwelch:
My hospital has a special attraction for these people. We have one of the busiest bariatric units in ATL. Sometimes I have to walk down the halls like I am playing frogger to get from one side of the hospital to the other.





Damn.......


Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:20:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Cragius:
Just wanted to interject something here. Overweight people are REWARDED for being that way. Come on think about it. You get too fat and you can get disability. That is a reward.

No money = No food. The second thing I want to say that Fat People don't get that way on their own. someone has to be bringing them food. Again if they are getting delivery they need money to pay for it. No Disability money means no Food money.

If someone can afford food and want to eat alot of it. Well good for them! As long as it is not my money. That is why we are in debt up to our ears. Too many social programs that are feel good measures with big unintended consequences.

Yeah some people have genes that make the body store more fat than most people but JEEZ. When you can't fit through a friggin door its time to stop eating.




Maybe some are, but not me.

Yes, I am overwieght, but damn if I get rewarded for it, so where do I go to sign up for all these free benefits?
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:20:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:21:53 PM EDT
I WAS going to have a nice peanut butter and honey sandwich.

I think I'll do some crunches instead.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:26:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:27:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:27:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:37:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
sorry folks but this is nothing new. i was seeing this in the 80's/90's on rescue units. more than once i had to rent a delivery truck to haul a fatass to the hospital on a matress because they wouldn't fit in an ambulance.

once i had to take a carbide saw to a door frame of a condo to remove a 700+lb body that died in it's sleep 2 weeks earlier. he had never left the condo in over 5 years because he physically could not FIT THROUGH THE DAMN DOOR!



Yup that happened also in Ann Arbor. Some dude who weighted 900lbas or more died and the firefighters cut a hole in his wall to get him out. He was placed in a piano crate for burial.

Imagine the grease fire if you tried to cremate him.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:42:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDOC:

Imagine the grease fire if you tried to cremate him.




I dont want that vision in my head
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:45:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2006 1:46:08 PM EDT by 1shott]

Originally Posted By ARDOC:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
sorry folks but this is nothing new. i was seeing this in the 80's/90's on rescue units. more than once i had to rent a delivery truck to haul a fatass to the hospital on a matress because they wouldn't fit in an ambulance.

once i had to take a carbide saw to a door frame of a condo to remove a 700+lb body that died in it's sleep 2 weeks earlier. he had never left the condo in over 5 years because he physically could not FIT THROUGH THE DAMN DOOR!



Yup that happened also in Ann Arbor. Some dude who weighted 900lbas or more died and the firefighters cut a hole in his wall to get him out. He was placed in a piano crate for burial.

Imagine the grease fire if you tried to cremate him.




I know it is wrong to laugh, but damn it, that was funny.....
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