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Bariatric Patient stuck in a tub... How do you get them out?

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  • Bariatric Patient stuck in a tub... How do you get them out?

    So, literally just finished this call, and I'm typing this on the MDT, sitting in the app bay. We had a 500 lb woman who decided to take a bath, and was then suprisingly unable to get herself out. Initially it was a lift assist with a suppression unit going (3 person crew), but once they saw what they were dealing with they called us out as well (2 person medic rig). She was very top-heavy, and filled the top half of the tub, with her legs being smaller in proportion. With her back against the back of the tub, her feet just about touched the end of the tub. We could sit her forward and get about 6 inches of space, and could work under her legs to a degree.

    I want to say we tried getting a sheet under her, and initially failed. We then moved on to just trying a lift with the sheet under her arms with zero luck, tried using a samson strap (wide strap with handles along it) low on her waist as well, and again had zero luck. At that point we all started spit-balling, and ended up pulling out airbags to maybe lift her up off the floor of the tub so we could work under her a bit, then putting them away because they would likely pinch her. We grabbed a spine board in hopes of using it as a lever, but it was too long to use as a fulcrum or wedge in back, and was useless in front. We were trying to think of ways to be able to create a pick-point above her to use, but would still need a way to capture her for the lift. We got to the point where we were considering taking out the wall behind the tub so we could get the backboard under her and lift/slide her back into the bedroom. While I was putting airbags away, I think they must have soaped her up a bit more, because they were able to work a sheet all the way under her. We did the lift with 4, but with one guy taking on a majority of the lift from behind, and one guy in front being very off-balance. As of now, no one is hobbling around, and we were able to get her back on her feet and out of the tub with a promise to shower from here on out.

    I did a quick web search during the call, hoping for some inspiration, and was suprised to come up with absolutely nothing. Anyone have ideas or techniques that have worked, aside from brute manpower, to get obese patients from out of tight spaces? The tub is likely the most challenging location, but maybe the pt has fallen between a wall and a waterbed which isn't easily moveable, or something like that.

    Any ideas are welcome. I hope to not have a similar call in the future, but I'd like to be a bit more prepared for if/when I do...

  • #2
    The tripod looked interesting, and we were thinking about trying something similar with an attic ladder or something as a pick point. We have mega movers, but getting the sheet under the pt was bad enough, trying to slide the megamover under her would have been much harder and would have torn up her backside, I think.

    We did just buy a bunch of Binder Lifts (kind of like a KED, but just for lifting patients). It would have been nice to see if this would have made a difference. I guess we'll see on the next Bariatric call...


    • #3
      That lifting rig looked like it would be taller than the standard ceiling height of 8'. And a 240 lb person in a tub would be easy.


      • #4
        Sounds like you pretty much "dumped your toolbox." I suspect we'd end up in a similar situation. But you got the job done, and that's the important part.

        Of course, now you'll have all the right tools ready, and eventually someone will take them off the rig because they haven't been used in years...
        Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

        Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.


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