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 pounds.
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."