Bariatric Transport Services
The word “bariatrics” is derived from the Greek baros, meaning “heavy” and iatrics, meaning “medical treatment”. It refers to the practice of healthcare relating to the treatment of obesity and related conditions. (Gallagher Camden, 2006). Body Mass Index [BMI] is the commonly accepted international standard used to measure weight and height (Rush, 2005). BMI of 40 or more with significant medical problems caused or made worse by their weight is classified as being bariatric.
It is acknowledged that there are variations in how the bariatric person is defined. With this in mind, professional judgment is paramount when assessing the needs of the individual and determining whether the patient is considered bariatric.
Ambulance personnel will conduct a risk assessment of the person, which will determine an appropriate response. In certain circumstances this assessment may indicate that this person should be treated in the home environment rather than being taken to hospital. Ambulance Control will then co-ordinate the appropriate healthcare response. If the person is to be taken to hospital the ambulance crew will ensure early notification.
Our Bariatric Care Unit is a new resource for the Western Health’s Paramedicine & Medical Transport Service for transport of morbid obese patients. Modifications have been made to the ambulance unit to protect the patient and ambulance personnel from injury. The Bariatric Care Unit is made up of several independent components that when brought together, provides for the engineered safe transportation of obese patients.