Why quality carries weight in bariatric equipment

By: Dinethra Menon - MedicalSearch Writer
02 March, 2015

Across the world, there is an increasing obesity epidemic and the need for quality equipment for bariatric patients is growing.

Bariatric equipment offers clinically obese patients comfort and safe mobility support. Quality equipment is designed to provide stronger support and wider widths, accommodating upper weight limits to improve patient independence.

Here are a few important reasons why quality carries weight in bariatric equipment.

Not one-size-fits-all

Bariatric patients vary in weight ranges from obese to clinically obese. Having a range of customised equipment that can adapt to different patient sizes offers patients better comfort and independence. Equipment with varying width, depth and length could include adjustable beds that can be raised or lowered, lift and recliner chairs and other tailor-made mobility equipment.

Weight not the only measurement

Equipment that assists carrying excess weight can improve mobility, flexibility and dexterity. However, weight-bearing equipment is not the only consideration as the equipment needs to not only support the patient's current weight, but also allow for a future increase in weight. It is important to consider patient height, size and body shape when selecting equipment. The quality of the frame of the equipment, seat material and screws that hold the equipment together needs to be considered to sustain a patient's size and shape.

Broad range of costs and functions

Bariatric devices can range from inexpensive to costly, depending on the mobility and independence for the patients. Equipment that offers a range of functions can mean patients use less equipment, reduce costs and may even impact on the number of patient transfers. Although the up-front costs can have a bigger impact on the hip pocket, multi-functional equipment can save money for patients long-term.

Improving patients' quality of life

Bariatric patients may feel physically limited by their ability to participate in household and community activities. This can affect their self-esteem and patients may experience psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety and social isolation. Quality equipment can improve bariatric patients' quality of life, assisting with integration into everyday living and better psychological outcomes.

Benefit in long-term patient care

Prolonged hospital stays can affect patient outcomes and have a significant cost impact. Assessments of bariatric patients discharged from the hospital to the community depend on the availability of bariatric equipment at home. Studies have found bariatric patients with access to equipment are more likely to transition from the hospital. These patients ultimately benefit from better quality, long-term healthcare.