21. July 2015
// Products & Services

Obesity

A great challenge for hospitals and care homes

The share of heavily overweight people amongst the German population is on the rise. This poses a great challenge for hospitals and care homes. Even though the range of medical products is much better today than a few years ago, many facilities are largely unprepared, according to media reports. Wheelchairs are too narrow, beds and patient lifts are not designed for heavier weights, and heavy-duty beds do not fit through doorways.

This can result in undignified improvisation for the residents and patients concerned. The portal Berlin.de, for instance, reported of an overweight man who was virtually unable to be rescued from his flat due to a lack of suitable equipment. He had to slide down the stairs in an inflatable dinghy and was taken to hospital in a lorry. If falls and injuries result from incorrect procedures, the liability lies with the facility.

Hospitals and care homes are meanwhile facing up to the new requirements. In the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, a wave of rebuilding and refitting is taking place, reports the WDR television channel: Bathrooms are being enlarged, floors reinforced and stronger operating tables are being procured. This is urgently necessary, since in 2012 alone, 2,900 people in North Rhine-Westphalia required in-patient hospital treatment for obesity – 83% more than in the year 2007.

Stiegelmeyer products are ideal for furnishing medical units and care rooms to meet future requirements. They offer overweight people comfort and protection. The safe working load of a bed, as defined by the standard DIN EN 60601-2-52, is the decisive factor for its load-bearing capacity. The safe working load includes the weight of the patient, the mattress and accessories. In a hospital setting, it is required to be 2,000 Newtons (approx. 204 kg), and in a care setting 1,700 Newtons (approx. 173 kg).

Heavy-duty beds made by Stiegelmeyer and Burmeier far exceed this standard. Both the Arena care bed and the Gigant II homecare model have a safe working load of 350 kg. They can accommodate occupants weighing up to 280 kg. In addition, these models offer ample space with their 120 cm wide mattress base. It is often difficult to sustain the mobility of bariatric individuals. The height adjustment range of 40 - 80 cm offered by heavy-duty beds provides an ideal height for getting out of bed, while the middle support post for the split safety sides is a useful aid for standing up.

Stiegelmeyer hospital beds also exceed the standard. The 260 kg safe working load of the Puro and also the Sicuro pesa intensive care bed make these beds suitable for heavy patients weighing 220-230 kg. If body weight is a central issue during treatment, the Sicuro pesa also offers a valuable extra feature: Its optional integrated scales measure the weight of the patient to an accuracy of 50 g without the need for the patient to get out of bed.

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