October 23, 2009

Ambulances start charging fat people

Another reason not to be fat... ambulances are charging you extra for hauling your fatty butt to the hospital.

The memory still bothers Ken Keller: A panicked ambulance crew had a critically ill patient, but the man weighed more than 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms) and could not fit inside the vehicle. And the stretcher wasn't sturdy enough to hold him.

The crew offered an idea to Keller, who was then an investigator with the Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services. Could they use a forklift to load the man — bed and all — onto a flatbed truck? Keller agreed: There was no other choice.

"I'm sure it was terribly embarrassing to be in his own bed, riding on the back of a flatbed with straps tying him down, going to the hospital, and then have a forklift at the hospital unload him," Keller said.

As the nation battles the obesity crisis, ambulance crews are trying to improve how they transport extremely heavy patients, who become significantly more difficult to move as they surpass 350 pounds (159 kilograms). And caring for such patients is expensive, requiring costly equipment and extra workers, so some ambulance companies have started charging higher fees for especially overweight people.

The move to modify ambulances is just the latest effort to accommodate plus-sized patients. Some hospitals already offer specially designed beds, wheelchairs, walkers and even commodes.

Ambulance companies say it's time for insurance providers, Medicaid and Medicare, or patients themselves to begin paying the added costs, which are cutting into their razor-thin profit margins.

Here's an idea... we should stop treating obesity like its a disease and look at ourselves in the mirror. It's our own fault and people should have to pay extra for it. Once these lazy individuals realize that it's tough being fat, they might work a little extra on the treadmill instead of at McDonalds.

How do you get to be 1,000 POUNDS??!?!

No comments:

Post a Comment