The average healthcare patient’s size and weight are increasing as the global population’s average body weight continues to climb, owing mostly to lifestyle choices and high caloric/fat meals. There is currently a need to explore how healthcare staff may deliver excellent patient/resident care while avoiding injury to themselves or the patient/resident. As part of an effective risk management program, it is critical to understand what obesity and bariatrics are, the possibility for harm, and the various ways to control these injuries. So, let’s learn safe handling of bariatric patients and residents.
It is vital to have a thorough awareness of the definitions of obesity and bariatric surgery.
The specialty of medicine known as bariatrics deals with the treatment of obese people.
The term “bariatric surgery” refers to operations that aid in weight loss.
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30 on a global scale. Those with a BMI of 40 or higher are classified as morbidly obese and may be candidates for bariatric surgery. The BMI is calculated by dividing weight by height.
A more reasonable description of a bariatric patient or resident can include someone who has health limits owing to his or her physical size, health, mobility, or environmental access.
As a result, in today’s health institution, a “bariatric patient” could be a resident in need of assistance at a long-term care home or a hospitalized for procedures other than bariatric surgery.
If particular precautions are not used when handling bariatric patients/residents, there is a greater risk of damage. Those bariatric patients/residents who are in the facility for non-bariatric surgery may have medical issues that impact their ability to do patient-handling activities, such as:
There is a lot of pain and agony.
Joint instability, an unstable spine, and a history of falls are all factors to consider.
Poor skin integrity, severe enema
Paralysis/paresis, postural hypotension
Spine instability/severe osteoporosis
Fractures, splints, and traction
Problems with the lungs and heart
Amputations, Stomas, wounds, and tubes
When caring for nonsurgical bariatric patients/residents with these disorders, as well as those hospitalized for bariatric surgery treatments, standard equipment and manual mobility and handling may be insufficient. The majority of typical equipment (beds, side chairs, toilets, and lifting assistance) is designed for people weighing between 250 and 300 pounds. If the individual weighs more than this, specific equipment may be required.
Protection for Healthcare Workers
In the past, the healthcare industry has relied on body mechanics training to keep patients/residents and personnel safe throughout patient-handling procedures. This has proven ineffectual on its alone, especially when it comes to patient/resident care activities requiring bariatric people. Injury can also occur as a result of equipment failure caused by exceeding weight restrictions and putting too much strain on the device. It’s crucial to keep in mind that:
Training is ineffective on its own. The importance of formal patient evaluation protocols, lifting assistance, and safe lift policies cannot be overstated. Back belts have not been proven to be beneficial. The average worker should only lift 51 pounds and only under strict supervision.
In most cases, the expense of work-related accidents outweighs the cost of new equipment. When employees are involved in the equipment selection process, they will use lift equipment.
Solutions To Both Employee and Patient Injuries
Using specialized bariatric equipment built for people who are heavier Staff education on mobility and handling techniques, as well as the usage of specialist equipment is required. During the admissions process and while in the patient care area, nursing personnel conducts assessments of patients and residents. Patient/resident bariatric algorithms are being developed and used (flow charts that guide the worker on what to do during care when handing bariatric patients). Policies on mobility and handling that are unique to bariatric care
For more ideal solutions in safe handling of bariatric patients and residents, you can contact JB Medical here.