Obesity is becoming a worldwide challenge with a growing number of people becoming overweight. According to a recent global study that reviewed the prevalence of obesity in the world, 2.1 billion people (close to 30% of the population) are overweight or obese, putting themselves at risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancers.
According to another study, the number of severely obese patients quadrupled between 1986 and 2000 from 1 in 200 to 1 in 50 people.
Close to 10% of medical spending is spent on bariatric patients. For the healthcare system, this presents a unique challenge.
Moving and handling concerns are magnified with bariatric patients due to their size and weight and the risk of injury to staff and patients alike. There is also a lack of proper bariatric seating available, meaning a person is often spending significant amounts of time in bed. However, in bed, the ability to do simple tasks such as reading, writing and personal care is greatly reduced.
In addition, inactivity due to bed rest can result in a 10-20% decrease in muscle strength per week. For patients spending prolonged periods of time in bed, this reduces their ability to sit upright, stand and walk, leading to longer hospital stays and increased costs to the healthcare system.
We’ve discovered from speaking to clinicians, physiotherapists, nurses and occupational therapists across the world during training sessions and at industry shows, that there is an increasing need for guidance and support when dealing with patients with a bariatric condition who have low mobility. There is currently a lack of both proper equipment to optimise postural support and pressure redistribution, and understanding of how to best treat this patient category
Common Mistakes and Challenges
The most common challenge for clinicians in seating patients with a bariatric condition, is in getting the measurements of the patient correct. This can be often a daunting task and clinicians might require extra help from another clinician to make sure the measurements are as accurate as possible.
Points to think about in advance of #Otalk 21st June 2016
• What are the challenges you face when seating patients with a bariatric condition?
• What extra complications can this present concerning:
o Patient and caregiver safety
o Dignity of patient
o Keeping the patient as independent as possible
• Consider the benefits of getting patients with a bariatric condition up from bed rest into a suitable seat on overall health and wellbeing and how we can best encourage this
At Seating Matters we are working hard to educate clinicians on best practice, our guidance is available on our website http://seatingmatters.com/bariatric-seating/
Post Chat Updates
PDF of Transcript. #OTalk – 21 June 2016