Boston Debuts Ambulance for Obese Patients

Boston's emergency medical services department unveiled a new ambulance designed to help transport obese patients without injuring EMTs:

Boston emergency services debuted a specialized ambulance designed to carry obese patients on Tuesday, and the retrofitted vehicle was promptly needed on two calls, authorities said.

The ambulance is equipped with a special stretcher that can hold 850 pounds and a hydraulic lift with a 1,000 pound capacity, said Captain Jose Archila of Boston's Emergency Medical Services fleet.

The ambulance is likely to be needed two to four times a week, he said.

"We have seen a huge increase in the last six months," said Archila about the number of calls by obese patients.[...]

Back injuries among crews are common due to strain from lifting extremely heavy patients, he said. The ambulance makes the patients more comfortable as well.

In appearance, the ambulance looks like any other. The hydraulic lift is folded and stowed underneath the bed, and a gas tank was repositioned to accommodate it, Archila said.


Link via Super Punch | Photo (unrelated) via Flickr user sonyone703 used under Creative Commons license

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@InsaneElvis

The problem is fat people don't "struggle" with weight issues. They just keep shoveling food into their pieholes while shopping for a bigger scooter to cart their fat ass around.

In this case, Yoda is right. There is no "try" either do, or don't eat more calories then you burn. It's not rocket science - and all the reasons fat people use when they say "I can't" is pure horsesh*t.
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My father works with a man who is also an EMT in Chicago. He has undergone 2 back surgeries and is now forced to work from home on a computer instead of out in the field with my Dad because of his injuries from lifting obese people. He complained that over the last 20 years its been getting worse. He loved being an EMT but had to give it up because of his injuries.

That conversation got my Dad thinking and my father has lost over 100 lbs (down to 180 lbs!) in the last year or so. It prompted my mom to lose 60 (down to 135 lbs!). They know they are in their 50s and not on meds at all. The idea that, if necessary, they could be hurting the people trying to potentially save their lives made my mother physically sick and it prompted them to take action. It has even prompted me to lose the 30 stubborn pounds I've carried around for years.

Obese people should be ashamed of this new ambulance. Why are we all forced to accommodate others who have no self control?
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I agree with many of the posts above. Sadly, this is not a Neatorama worthy post. Bariatric ambulances are actually quite common now. The surprising but it how far behind the times this Boston service is. I am glad there are bariatric units out there because they have saved a multitude of medics from loosing their careers to back injuries. Enabling obesity? I believe there is a lot more involved doing that a long time before an ambulance is involved. But it does go along with a question I have discussed with my coworkers: Which came first? The scooter or not being able to walk? Now think about it. In most cases I have found people who had trouble walking..got a scooter..then decided to stop walking...thereby then needing a scooter from then on out.

Another related thought...at one of my local services, the bariatric unit is sometimes too small...think about that. The super obese are out there too. Usually the cot is strong enough, the winch and vehicle are strong enough...it just that they are too wide to fit. The trucks can't get any wider and safely travel down most city streets. But, just think of that.
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@Oscar100

Agreed. Paremedics have a duty of care to attend to people in medical emergencies whether they are normal weight or obese. They should be protected from back injuries from attempting to lift such heavy people.
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