Costs for caring for morbidly obese patients are expected to reach $147 billion per year. At nearly 10% of all medical expenditures this is a cost that could be reported as dollars per pound. Read more about obesity related costs in this article from EHS Today.
I am not sure if the researchers cost projections and estimates include these costs incurred by EMS providers and agencies associated with assessing, treating, and transporting obese patients:
1) New equipment like larger blood pressure cuffs and cots
2) Purchasing and equipping bariatric transport units
3) Multiple personnel and transport units to extricate, lift, and move patients
4) Lost work time and treatment costs from back injuries
5) Additional training on morbidly obese patient assessment and treatment
This news article specifically comments on the impact of morbidly obese patients on EMS providers.
Unfortunately EMS providers are not immune from obesity. Take a look in the mirror or at your co-workers and you will see that we reflect the populations we serve. Everyday EMS Tips will continue to encourage our subscribers to make the effort to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Check out these Everyday EMS Tips for encouragement and inspiration:
1) Participate in at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.
2) Pack your own lunch with a sandwich made with whole grain bread and several pieces of fresh fruit to avoid a fast food meal.
3) Eat 4 to 6 small meals instead of two or three big meals.
4) Don’t skip breakfast. Instead enjoy a bowl of cereal from whole grains.
5) Join a fitness club, YMCA, or group.
6) Find an exercise partner to run, bike, swim, lift weights, or walk with.
7) Set a goal to participate in an event like a 5 or 10 km run.
8) Set an attainable goal to lose 5 pounds instead of 50. Once 5 pounds is gone set a goal to lose another 5 pounds.
9) Watch less TV.
10) Choose lower calorie alternatives like diet soda, frozen yogurt, or light beer.
11) Start lunch or dinner with a green salad or piece of fruit.
12) Change up your exercise routine. Cross Fit is next on my to-do list.
We want your tips to help other EMS professional attain and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Please add your tips to the comments area.
Stay healthy and be well!