Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Growing Disaster In Hospitals Today

Fat people are at a serious disadvantage when they have medical problems. Diagnostic exams are severely compromised by obesity. Speaking from experience I would rather X-ray tiny little stick figure people than folks who are 100 pounds or more over-weight.

Obesity, like smoking, compounds medical conditions slowing healing time and creating additional complications. Don't get the wrong idea here, I am no Ashley Olsen, but I see patients daily that can not get the diagnostic tests they need because they exceed the weight limit for the medical equipment. In X-ray procedures, the different densities of the body 'filters' the x-ray beam, bone being the densest and air the least dense, body fat changes the equation by scattering the x-ray beam and not giving an accurate visualized image.

Many times those who are classified as 'morbidly obese' (those that are more than 100 Lbs. over their ideal weight) simply don't fit into the medical equipment. Most of our x-ray tables have a weight limit of 300 Lbs. and the CT scanner has a table limit of 500 Lbs. It is not a matter of making a stronger table, at those weight limits the image that is acquired by x-ray or CT is so 'fuzzy' that it is no longer considered diagnostic. Talk about a disaster!

(from Reuters: More Americans too fat for X-rays, scans)

--El Presidente BigMike

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