According to the WHO based on current trends, by 2030 60-70% of all Europeans will be obese1. Therefore it is essential to design with bariatric patients in mind. Bariatric patients2 (see definition below) can be any age and are to be found throughout the entire facility. Designing for bariatric patients should take into account not only specific equipment but also different spatial and storage requirements including:

  • Increased corridor and doorway widths
  • Larger room sizes and increased space around the bed
  • Equipment such as beds, stretchers, operating tables and treatment tables with a higher safe working load and a greater width
  • Mobile and/or ceiling lifts capable of supporting weights up to 500 kg (please note in the case of ceiling lifts the ceiling might require additional reinforcement)
  • Floor mounted toilets with sufficient space around it
  • Any wall-mounted fittings should be reinforced
  • Powered beds, chairs and trolleys to minimise patient handling risk

The Hill-Rom Construction Portal brings you supporting tools to design your specific area according to local spatial requirements and regulations. Click on one of the options below for further information.

1. WHO reference: Webber L, Divajeval D, Marsh T, et al. The European obese model: the shape of things to come. 2. Bariatrics is the science of providing healthcare for those who have extreme obesity. Both a patient's weight and the distribution of this weight throughout the body are involved in determining whether one is a bariatric patient. The most commonly accepted and consistent language for identifying and defining bariatric patients has been through the use of the Body Mass Index or BMI. The World Health Organization describes people who have a BMI greater than 30 as obese, and those having a BMI greater than 40 as severely obese (WHO, 2000). Other definitions of bariatric include overweight by more than 100-200 pounds or body weight greater then 300 pounds. (Hahler, 2002). In the recent past, standard facility weight capacity for patient-handling-equipment lifts has been 250-350 pounds. Staff often activate bariatric protocols, guidelines, and/or similar actions when a patient's weight exceeds 350 lbs.

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