Practice professionalism with bariatric patients
As individuals we are entitled to our opinions, but understand the causes of obesity before commenting on it
EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh
Earlier this week, an EMS1 reader reached out to me via email, lamenting about some of the crass comments that were written about obese patients. Indeed, it's pretty interesting how some of our colleagues view obese patients. Fortunately, most of the comments on the thread were in rebuttal to the few crass ones.
Obesity is a major health issue for many in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control nearly 36 percent of the U.S. population is obese, which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, and 6.3 percent are morbidly obese (having a BMI of 40 or more). The health issues associated with being very overweight are significant, and are a factor in the patient population EMS serves.
The reasons for being obese are many. Medical conditions, the inability to conveniently buy healthy foods, a lifestyle that promotes poor eating habits, and not making exercise a priority all contribute to the issue. Making a deliberate choice to be obese is not a factor.