Emergency 911-XL

Being a health care worker, I am completely 100% behind this type of service:

A Las Vegas company is putting a new extra-large ambulance into service to handle extra-large patients.

American Medical Response called the $250,000 rig its bariatric unit. It bought it at the request of the Clark County Fire Department.

The vehicle looks like a regular ambulance. But it’s extra-wide, and has a larger gurney, a winch and ramps capable of loading up to 1,600 pounds.

A company official said that in the last six months, AMR has handled 75 calls involving patients that weighed more than 600 pounds.

He said moving someone that large in a regular ambulance poses safety problems for the patient — and for paramedics and ambulance crew members. – SOURCE

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out on patient calls only to find that I am unable to assist a patient because of their weight. I can remember one call in particular where I had Chris waiting for me in the car as I went into a patient’s house to assist him – – only to have to call Chris up to help me get the man off the floor, because physically – I just couldn’t. It was 2am and Chris was the guys best shot for immediate help.

I applaud the Las Vegas ambulance company on this move and investment. Not only is it safer for the health care workers . . but safer for the patients, as well, making sure that they ambulance company is well-equipped and well-manned to assist and care for those extra-large patients.

I know when I was working as a Director in rehab – the work-related employee injuries were very high with employees caring for obese patients. I would imagine it is similar in the ambulance field. I would also imagine that the statistics on patient injuries are just as high.

This ambulance company is taking a long overdue, proactive step towards improving those statistics that hopefully the national industry will take note of.

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6 thoughts on “Emergency 911-XL”

  1. It’s a start. Now if they can just staff it with people who can do something. A few years ago I had one of my guys go off a ladder coming off the roof. He controlled his fall as much as possible, but since he was 15 feet up or so the ambulance obviously had to be called. He was a pretty average sized construction guy (250# or so, which to me seems to be a pretty average sized guy), but one of the paramedics they sent was a girly who couldn’t come close to carrying her weight. One of the cops actually pushed her out of the way and picked up her end of the whatchamacallit to get him into the ambulance. After that, most of our guys would rather be strapped to a board and taken to the hospital in the back end of one of our work trucks than have the ambulance come for them. ๐Ÿ™

  2. Hmm..I’m wondering if that will go out as part of the dispatch. How will they know to roll that unit? We never get that type of info on our dispatches and I would suspect with all the HIPAA hooplah, they might get into trouble if they gave out that information anyway. We don’t get much more than ~sick person~ or ~injured person~ on a dispatch.

    I do agree that it is a good investment. That stat in the article is a bit alarming…Unfortunately, I don’t think it will alter the national standard. Hell, we can’t even get a full time medic.

  3. Well, statistically, more than 50% of Americans are obese. That change has occured in the last FIVE years. You can check out the demographics at the CDC website.

    Hi, I’m Pam and I’m dropping in from Mike’s (a boy and his bike) blogsite. I too am a nurse, in homecare! I work in Staff Development now but I desperately miss patient care. Not so much for the care but for the FREEEEEDOM it affords you. I hate being stuck in an office. But I do love teaching and mentoring. And I get to design this program or rather programs from the ground up. I have a decent boss and it’s a progressive company that is doing well financially so…who’s complaining?

    Anyway, I read your ‘about you’ piece. Wow, that’s along time to be blogging. I just started. I am enjoying it. I like meeting new people in this type of setting. I hope you can visit my blog when you get a chance. Later, P.

  4. Pam – that’s also a bit of playing with stats because a few years ago they changed the weight ranges for overweight, obese, etc.

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