Research on lifting and handling obese patients

The obese population in Europe is growing and this group are considerably
over-represented in their use of health and social care services. A project -
funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - aimed to identify and explore
the manual handling risks and process planning for bariatric patients by
mapping the patient pathway for an emergency admission to identify the major
risks by:

  • Reviewing public health data to provide an estimate of the current and future
    bariatric patient population;

  • Surveying strategic, clinical and operational policies and procedures for
    bariatric patient handling;

  • Obtaining case studies of specific incidents and risk management actions.

Findings revealed that 40%-70% of Trusts did not have a bariatric policy. These
policies are needed to lead the process planning, assessment and management of
manual handling risks including the number of staff, provision of appropriate
equipment and intra- and inter-agency communication. Spatial risk factors were
identified but seemed to have a poor management record for both building and
vehicle design with over half of the Trusts with policies not considering space
in the policy; almost 30% of ambulances not having specialist vehicles and 33%
of respondents reporting inaccessible areas in their buildings. Even with good
communication it was not always possible to manage all of the risks, and the
provision of appropriate equipment and successful management of pain, safety,
dignity and comfort all contributed to successful pathway experiences.

Further info

AplusA-online.de - Source: Health & Safety Executive