View Full Version : Hospitals Make Changes to Care for Obese
Hospitals Make Changes to Care for Obese
By JIM SALTER, Associated Press 12 minutes ago
ST. LOUIS - 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. Story here... (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060331/ap_on_he_me/diet_hospital_obesity;_ylt=AtYYCYb5hJgEJMilpJ7MPKM DW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl)
03-31-2006, 02:52 PM
Lets hope all hospitals join in this!
I agree. When I had to go to hospital in VT, No one made a fuss about my weight at all, and they had very large hospital gowns, which is something you don't see here where I live. I know it's a very expensive endeavor, but accomodation is something that really needs to be done on a wider scale.
03-31-2006, 04:20 PM
hehe.. (only laughing at my own experiences)
I've never actually flipped an exam table..
cuz i'm short and my tummy and ass are Quite Large... um.. it's takes me a lil dance/ shuffle/ hop to get myself up on to an exam table lol
I have once felt the exam table start to come up off the floor so i moved a bit and it went back down... i was mortified and thankfully nobody else was in there.
And i'm glad they're usually not in there when i have to do my lil dance to get up on the tables lol
AND... *laughs* I just love it when I go to my annual exam and they hand me this piece of paper (what *I* call it) that's about 2ft by 3ft "cover up" haha...
I keep telling the nurses.. why bother? LOL I'll just use my kleenex. lol
some of them get a kick out of me.. others don't think it's funny but hey.. if i can't laugh at things like that.. then something is wrong lol
04-01-2006, 06:31 PM
that is my hospital here that Childrens (whom i work for) is associated with. I find it hard to believe, since i know that they have just bought a new CT scanner that wont fit fat people above 350.
They have a huge (pardon the pun) WLS center there too, so maybe that is part of the reason as well...
i will have to see it to believe it....
Really Di? Well, that sounds dodgy, doesn't it?
04-01-2006, 11:44 PM
Well, when I worked in the E.R as a Nursing Assistant and Transporter.....
I would try to accomodate 2 gowns for people of larger size (so that the gowns could be tied in the front and also tied in the back.)
I have always thought that just basically one gown can be *quite a pain* for just anyone!:doh:
I have worked with some great X-ray/CT staff ...but I have seen them lose some of their professional behavior with men or women of a larger SIZE that they have examiine on the X-ray or CT machine. A lot of them have found it it quite difficult/challenging to take quality pictures of patients who are quite large. Some of them will also have their talk *of course away from the patient* (with some un-called for comments about BIG people.) :mad:
04-02-2006, 12:18 PM
This is nice to see, that places are making an attempt to facilitate us. In our unit I've noticed that the new breastfeeding gowns we got (with little "boob holes" in the front so a woman doesn't have to either lift her gown up or pull it down to nurse) are larger sized. They're also beautiful -- thicker material, lovely pattern, etc.
We also have a lift team as does at least one of the other hospitals here in Anchortown. When I see them, I'm reminded of the line in The Princess Bride, "You ARE the brute squad" because every lift team I've seen are these HUGE, adorable, well over six foot Samoan guys that are built like linebackers. Even at 300 pounds, I'd have felt very safe letting them pick me up since they look like they could do it with one hand.
Other than that, we have wider wheel chairs, some armless chairs in our waiting area, and scanning equipment that can fit larger bodies. We're not totally there yet, but since we have a pretty large population, and a relatively new facility, we're probably better than most places.
04-02-2006, 08:04 PM
It's hit and miss at hospitals where I live, and considering I live in Houston, with the Texas Medical Center and all the resources and cutting edge medical technology found here, it's hard to believe how unaccomodating some of the large hospitals here can be.
When I had surgery last summer, I dealt with two hospital systems. The first I was initially brought to was a Memorial-Hermann hospital, which serves as a trauma center in our area as well. Large hospital, one would assume could handle anything? Nope. My size was a BIG issue and barrier to adequate care from the moment I was brought into the ER. There were no hospital gowns to fit me, I had to wrap up in a sheet. No big wheelchairs or armless chairs in the waiting area. I had to use my old rickety wheelchair my husband dragged out of storage. BIGTIME attitude from the ultrasound techs and the Ob/Gyn surgeon. And told that even in a life or death situation, I would be denied access to any advanced imaging machinery even if I could physically fit underneath the "open" MRI because I exceeded the safe insurable weight limit and they would not void that and undertake the liability for any reason.
So, I wound up having surgery at another hospital. St. Luke's Episcopal. Where upon first walking in the door, my size was a total nonissue. Big wheelchairs at the ready, gowns aplenty, staff who were not only trained to handle a patient my size, but for whom it was no big deal whatsoever. I was told that there would be no problem with the MRI if need be and they would do whatever they had to to do in order to ensure that I got the best care possible. I was so freaked out that they would not have a chair in my room I could sit in after surgery, not have a surgical binder in my size, not have this, not have that... But not only did they have it, it was all there without my having to ask for it.
How sad that in the same city, just a few miles away, there are such differences in quality of care and attitude. I'm just feeling very fortunate to have good enough insurance that allowed me to choose where to be treated and who to spend their (and my) money with.
I sent scathing letters of complaint to the first hospital and glowing letters of praise to the second.
04-04-2006, 11:32 AM
I had to have a chest xray the other day and they don't have big gowns at that lab - I knew this from prior experience. The tech said I could just take off my bra and stay in my tshirt. I pointed out that there are a LOT of big people and many, many bigger than me and she acknowledged it's a problem. When I asked for info on who I could go to to request bigger gowns, she said she would pass on the suggestion to management - I hope she does and it gets something done.
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