Why Specialty Medical Transportation Is Necessary For Some Larger People In Non-Emergency Situations
Medical transportation for people who are quite large, such as those over 400 pounds and who are not mobile, can be challenging without specialty transport. There are multiple reasons larger patients should request specialty transport that is designed for larger patients.
Adequate Staff And Equipment
Much like an ambulance, medical transport generally involves two people to help load the patient into the vehicle. If a patient is sufficiently large and is not mobile, there will need to be more people involved in the transportation process. Sometimes it may be difficult to simply get the person out of the house. When medical transport is planned, some medical transport personnel may ask for help from local first-responders, such as firefighters or paramedics, to help move the person from their bed or wheelchair to the gurney. Less commonly, firefighters may need to manipulate the door if the person cannot fit through normally. Specific equipment may also be necessary for some larger people, such as gurneys that have a higher weight capacity and equipment to make loading them into the vehicle easier on the people involved. Specialty equipment may need to be available since a traditional IV, if necessary, might be harder to do on a larger person.
Addressing Lung Problems
Some larger people may already be on oxygen because of lung problems. Just because you are not currently on oxygen does not mean there are no concerns about your breathing during transport. People who are especially large and carry much of their weight in the upper body may have pressure on their lungs, which reduces lung capacity. Additionally, some people may need to lie a certain way to minimize breathing problems, but this may not be possible during transport. Having adequate oxygen on board, especially for longer trips, can keep the person oxygenated. There will also be the need for intubation supplies in case there is an emergency and the person has to be manually ventilated. If a person needs to be manually ventilated, there may be a need for specialized tools to see the airway. People who have excess fat around their neck may be harder to intubate since the fat may press on the airway.
Preventing Blood Clots
Blood clots are a major concern with very large people, especially if they will be transported a long way. When the medical professionals are prepared for this concern, they can monitor for any signs of a blood clot that may have broken free and went into the lungs, which can cause sudden respiratory distress and cyanosis. If there are cuffs large enough to put on the person's legs they can be used to keep blood moving in the legs and reduce the chances of blood clots. Whenever possible, a person that is still somewhat mobile may be asked to walk around periodically on a lengthy trip to prevent blood clots. Even simple exercises involving moving the legs with or without assistance might be enough to prevent life-threatening blood clots.
A patient who is very large, especially if they are immobile, should find specialty medical transport for non-urgent situations. Medical transport geared toward larger patients will ensure the proper help and supplies are readily available for a safe trip.