Obese And Overlooked: Can Air Ambulance Refusal Cause Greater Injury?
Across the globe, the obesity rate is continuing to climb, and it’s hindering EMT’s from doing their jobs. Air ambulances, and other modes of emergency transportation, are there to aid individuals who are in need of immediate care. However, what can an air ambulance do if a patient is too obese to carry?
The Right To Refuse?
Imagine being a 450-pound patient in New Mexico and having a heart attack. Unfortunately, the heart attack wasn’t the least of that patient’s problem. Because of the size and girth of the patient, the air ambulance was unable to get off the ground. Air transportation is even more crucial, as an injured patient may only have a specific amount of time for transport and reaching the hospital for the necessary treatment.
Approximately 1 percent of air ambulance flights are denied takeoff because the patient is too heavy to air lift them to the proper medical facility. This has become so common with the increase in obesity across the globe that crews are keeping life-saving tools handy in case a patient needs to be transported another way.
This refusal to transport can also lead to personal injury and malpractice lawsuits. As noted by an Albany NY personal injury lawyer group,”More specifically defined, medical malpractice is a failure on the part of a doctor, medical resident, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, therapist, or other medical caregiver, to provide a service that meets the “standard of care.” The “standard of care” is the level of care that the relevant medical community expects from a given provider.”
Other Methods Of Care
The nation is experiencing a plus-size epidemic and other methods of care will have to be implemented. A patient has the right to receive the ultimate in life-saving measures, but you can’t air lift a victim if they can’t fit. It can also be too dangerous to transport a patient in an air craft that goes beyond the reasonable size and weight, no matter how critical their illness or injuries.
Air ambulances are left with other options that can include transporting the patient via ground ambulance. However, this may not be the most viable option when every second counts. Unfortunately, most are left with no other alternative and traversing the road will have to do. Air ambulance companies have seen this sort of situation too often over the past few years, and they have made improvements on the tools and emergency gear that they keep within the vehicle. With a top rated medical team and equipment, a patient will stand a good chance at survival until they can receive the proper care at the hospital.
The obesity rate is only expected to go up over the next few years unless the nation conquers their crippling obsession with unhealthy foods. To keep up with the times, air and ground ambulances have had to restructure their equipment to care for obese individuals. This will help them receive the necessary treatment in a timely manner, should an emergency occur. Emergency medical providers have now had to up their size and weight in both air and ground ambulances to be able to accommodate individuals who exceed the normal weight limit. The equipment used in transport also needs to be updated to be able to withstand their body mass.
More and more Americans are falling into the category of obesity in today’s world. While it’s unhealthy to carry the excess weight around, they do have rights and need to have the same accommodations available as those within a normal weight limit.
Nadine Swayne presents this article to bring awareness to the dilemmas caused by obesity. Bottar Leone, PLLC, an Albany NY personal injury lawyer group, will fight to help you pick up the pieces of your life after suffering an even greater injury due to “refusal to transport” for medical help. With over thirty years of experience, they work diligently to get your case resolved.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/19107136@N02/8386565862/
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