Obese, Overweight Patients Necessitate Changes at Hospitals
The increasing rate of obesity in California and the rest of the country is "reshaping the hospital bedside," as hospitals are spending "thousands of dollars" on "extra-wide operating tables, beds, chairs, lift devices" and other equipment that can accommodate larger patients, the Fresno Bee reports.
Hospitals and paramedics increasingly are using lift devices for obese patients in an effort to avoid workplace injury or back and neck strain, while "preserving the dignity" of the patient, according to the Bee.
The California Nurses Association is supporting a bill (SB 1204) that would require hospitals to establish safe lifting policies to prevent such workplace injuries, which could contribute to the state's nursing shortage.
However, Daniel Swartz, a Fresno surgeon, said that while hospitals are trying to accommodate overweight and obese patients, a hospital that does not offer procedures such as bariatric surgery likely will not make as many changes (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 4/14).