Added by Elivia DeVries on January 14, 2011
On its first day in operation, Boston’s new “obese” ambulance, a vehicle especially designed to carry obese patients, has already receive two calls.
The retrofitted ambulance is equipped with a special stretcher designed with a carrying capacity of 380kg, and with a hydraulic lift that is able to carry 450kg, said captain Jose Archila, at Boston’s Emergency Medical Services fleet.
He anticipates that the ambulance will be needed two to four times a week, although “We have seen a huge increase in the past six months,” he said about the number of obese patients requiring medical transport by ambulance.
The vehicle has been designed mainly to prevent back injuries among ambulance crew, a common occurrence from lifting very heavy patients, Archila explained. But it also improves on the comfortability of large patients.
The ambulance looks very much like any other ambulance; the hydraulic lift can be folded away and stowed underneath the bed, which was made possible by the repositioning of a fuel tank that made available more space.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports that some one-third of adults in the United States are obese. These include 33.3 percent of men and 35.3 percent of women.