Several ambulances have had to be
equipped to deal with overweight patients, claim the Northern Ireland (NI)
Ambulance Service. Some time back the BBC had reported that almost every
service in UK has begun buying specialized equipments like- wider stretchers,
more lifting gear to deal with the increasing number of obese patients.
Standard ambulances are also being
stocked with heavy duty wheel chairs, lifting cushions and stretchers. The NI ambulance
service has modified their existing ambulances, while ambulance services in the
rest of UK have bought special 'bariatric' ambulance that costs up to 90,000
This move comes after the difficulties paramedics have to
face as they struggle to get overweight patients into the cabin of the
ambulance. These upgraded ambulances will reduce the risk of injury to the
staff. Ambulance Service Communications
Officer John McPoland said, "We have equipped some of our vehicles with
stretchers that are able to take weights of up to 63stone. These stretchers
have visual and audio warning systems in place."