Following a successful Bariatric Worskhop please see our notes and top tips for Blue Light services.
In the majority of cases (depending on Casualties individual medical conditions) it is far better to keep the casualty sitting up – laying them down immediately adds pressure to their lungs and constructs breathing.
Dr suggested keeping a load of old Seat Belts in the vehicle as they are useful for use as “handles” for lifting.
Using humour is good, BUT always laugh with the casualty not at them.
Simple use of bed sheets is the easiest way of getting people downstairs.
If the casualty is in the bath, add a small amount of water to help “float” them slightly just to help manoeuvre straps under them.
Plan ahead – ring the hospital well in advance to let them know you will be on the way to them so they have time to prepare a Bariatric bed, lifting kit (in case it needs to be acquired from a different hospital)
Never, ever, put your feet under the edge of the bed when you are preparing to lift the casualty off the bed, if it collapses on your foot you will be in trouble!
If you can, try and obtain a list of Bariatric patients from your local hospital care trust so you can carry out a Risk Assessment and formulate an evacuation plan in advance. You may also like to involve a structural engineer as part of this process. NOTE, if you are told you cannot have this information due to “data protection”, if the casualty signs something to say this is ok, you can get their name and address.
IMPORTANT – check the carrying load of your Long Boards
Try and get more information up front prior to attending, ask control to find out where they are in the house, which room, floor etc.
When considering structural loading, don’t think in terms of 100kg in body weight, think in terms of a Smart Car.
Simple solution to floor loading, transfer the load by adding a couple of Acro props along a 4x4 timber. Don’t forget to replicate this below to cover the transferred load.
Always remember to look around the whole building before you go in to assess additional stresses on the building to spot opportunities to share the load.
When moving casualties, try and use a blanket or small duvet to wrap them in first before putting them in a Slix to provide added protection. REMEMBER to ask the obvious first – ask if the casualty is able to help move themselves with support from the team BEFORE calling in the cavalry!
Always explain to the casualty what you are doing and involve them in the conversation – do not have a conversation about them.
Set a base line pulse at the beginning of the extrication so when you take it again later your know if it has changed
Pre-plan the extrication – you don’t want to end up with your troops at the top of the stairs behind the casualty when you need them at the bottom to help receive the casualty. Remember to measure the openings before you start moving.
Consider boarding stairs and “sliding” casualties (incline plane).