Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Are the dead too heavy?

What are we to do, our bariatric equipment is failing/breaking?

“Bariatric equipment”, in this case, is the fancy way to designate the heavier duty equipment we purchased to handle the heavier decedents we are tending to encounter. First our body lift, rated to handle 700 pounds, bent and the weld broke part way through lifting a female a few weeks ago (under warranty, so the company has replaced the damaged parts). Next our hydraulic morgue cart gave out under the strain of holding a large decedent (it was old anyway, so it was “retired”). Then last night our new transport cart (rated also at 700 pounds) broke while transporting another decedent to our van to bring him back to the office for autopsy. (It took 5 people to lift the decedent and the cart into the vehicle.)

Obesity is reaching (has reached) epidemic proportions. It is increasing the risk to my staff in lifting and moving folks. It is requiring heavy-duty equipment (that may not hold anyway). As I told a group of teenagers I gave a talk to today, do all you can to not get, or die, obese.

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