Bariatric Evacuation Play Day

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We had a great time recently with personnel from London Ambulance Service at HART East Station, for their equipment play day, where we were showcasing the Bariatric EvacMat.

Attendees where exploring complete patient handling solutions for use in emergency situations. This included using the Bariatric EvacMat in conjunction with the Camel Inflatable Lifting Cushion (available from Hospital Aids), to aid in the safe, controlled, fully support transition from a sitting position to a horizontal position -and vice versa, during horizontal evacuation operations of large individuals.

This method of transfer significantly reduces the risk of manual handling injuries to staff, while offering the user comfort and dignity during the process. This is already a tried and tested method used by some organisations.

To perform this operation, personnel firstly lay out the Bariatric EvacMat on the floor and place the deflated camel in the centre of the mat, before fully inflating it. Once fully inflated the bariatric ‘user’ (a training manikin in this instance) can be laterally transferred, in a seated position, on to the Camel lifting cushion, with the aid of patient transfer slings – Slide sheets can also be used. Those who are ambulant to some degree can be lowered to a sitting position on the camel from standing.

Once safely transferred, the lower chambers of the Camel are slowly deflated, until the ‘user’ is in a seated position on the Evacmat. The Camel’s back rest is deflated last, until the user was in the desired horizontal position.


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More often than not, a bariatric/obese individual may suffer with respiratory problems due to the fat corset. Their body weight pushes down onto their ribs and their diaphragm gets pushed up. They have to work hard just to breathe and become deoxygenated when they are lay down flat, so they will often need to be supported and raised slightly at the head and shoulders, to keep them comfortable and safe. Leaving the back rest of the camel inflated slightly to give support to this area will help to overcome this issue.

The ‘user’ was then fastened within the EvacMat – with the deflated Camel still in place, ready for evacuation.

Once in a place of safety, the EvacMat was unfastened and personnel began to re-inflate the camel, starting with the backrest to ensure the ‘user’ was sat up and comfortable, before inflating the lower chambers one at a time. When fully inflated with the ‘user’ in a seated position – with feet on the floor, they could then be either helped up to standing or laterally transferred to a chair.

This process of evacuation using the Bariatric Evacmat in conjunction with the Camel lifting cushion proved to be a great success with personnel and helped to overcame many of the issues they face when transferring and evacuating very large/ bariatric patients.

For more information on the Bariatric EvacMat and Camel Lifting Cushion, or any other equipment contact our team – info@hospitalaids.co.uk


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