Living ~400lbs

… and believe me I am still alive

Medical Equipment Size Limits

This article focuses on the weight limits of air ambulances, but it’s depressing anyway. The overall message of the piece is to lose weight (which we all know works so well! And immediately!)

Now, yes, most fat people aren’t very fat; most cutoffs are 300 or 350lbs; air ambulances appear to have lower-than-typical requirements.

But what can you do? Some ideas:

  1. Ask your local hospital about their equipment. 
  2. Ask you local doctor about their equipment.
  3. Ask local fat friends about their experiences.
  4. Research what is available and ask for it to be considered when new purchases are made.
  5. If there is an organization that fundraises for your local hospital, consider joining. 

I wouldn’t expect any of these to have an immediate effect, and some are long-term commitments.  These are also biased toward people who have the  time, money, education, and (possibly) public speaking skills to succeed.

Finally, you can move to an area with more choices.  This is definitely a long-term choice, and one that may also be impossible. But it may work for some.

Other thoughts?

5 responses to “Medical Equipment Size Limits”

  1. Some of these things never occurred to me until I was severely injured. I had no choice but to have an ambulance get me. And SIX workers to carry me out of the house. It was mortifying hearing them grunt with effort.

    I worried about their equipment. They did too. No one (except me) openly commented on that worry. But it was hard to see them sizing me up, trying to decide.

    I had to have a CAT scan and MRI. The table weight was enough to hold me, but there was no way I would fit into the little circle. Luckily it was just my severely broken leg that had to go in there.

    I’ve dealt with a lot of prejudice in the medical field. Just recently I went in with a possible kidney infection as all symptoms pointed to that and I had recently had one we were afraid had not gone away. I had to see a new doctor. She was incredibly rude and when she came in, told me the test came back negative so based upon my size she was diagnosing chronic constipation because it is common in “large” people. She did not listen to any evidence that clearly pointed away from this being a viable diagnosis. And rather than asking if I eat enough vegetables or exercise (I do) she lectured me on needing to eat more vegetables, exercise, drink more water, and about portion control.

    I just want to be treated with kindness and the basic dignity and respect every other human is due.

  2. The lack of medical equipment angers me. I was told that no one could get do sonar on a kidney on anyone over 400lbs. They don’t care if you are thinner by the kidney, their almighty tables always have a weight limit. Why don’t any of those geniuses just get bigger tables or ones that aren’t on the level of tooth picks? They are actually endangering people’s lives with this stuff. I never was able to have a pituitary scan, because I could not fit in the MRI–standing one I traveled 300 miles to, or lay down and breathe well enough in the others, though I got the adrenal scans. They are endangering people’s lives. I always wonder what if you are 10lbs over the weight limit to. My respect of the medical profession sometimes really has gone to very low levels, and this is one of the worse. The whole diet thing never works either. In my old small town, they didn’t even have a bed that fit me and every time I had to go into the hospital I was in a bone bed, but a huge metro city wasn’t much better. Even how weak and horrible hospital beds are is disgusting and probably the subject for another thread. I begged them to go home so I could have enough comfort to get well and actually sleep. Also why isn’t there any clearing house or findable information for the severely obese to find help or where things are medically available?

  3. I did ask various places too along the time but really it’s like they look down on you, around here at least they got large sized wheelchairs. I still think wheelchairs do not work well for the obese, the wheels are too thin, the metal things that support the legs hit your legs when you try to get on one. So I try, for some reason and I do not believe this given the rates of the obese in the country, they always treat me, like I am the FIRST supersized fat patient who walked through the door. That gets on my nerves more then anything else.

    1. Yes! That’s a very annoying thing that makes zero sense – all this panic about the ‘obesity epidemic’ and yet, mysteriously enough, medical facilities don’t have the correctly sized equipment for people who are fat. Either there’s a lot of fat people in existence, or there isn’t. But they can’t have it both ways.

  4. I am 2+ years into an ongoing complaint process whereby I am attempting to get the government’s health department to put a question on the bed order form for bedbound patients being treated at home as to whether they are under or over six feet tall. Because my dad was 6’2″ and the hospital bed they sent him was the wrong size; and then the replacement was incomplete; and to cut a long story short, he was a terminally ill patient who only got the correctly sized bed about two weeks before he died.

    And being tall is (generally) seen as a good thing in western society. So god help us fatties.

    Not to be a downer, though. I am getting it done and while the health department staff seem to be callous and unintelligent, at least they are afraid of being sued.

    So, there’s that.

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About Me

Former software tester, now retired heart patient having fun and working on building endurance and strength. See also About page.

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