Case Study: A 600-lb Patient Journey to Walk After 3 Years of Immobility


One time download – from September 2017 issue



Moving and handling patients places healthcare workers at risk of injury. Most healthcare facilities support safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) through the use of technology. However, with the rise in obesity, standard SPHM equipment may pose a challenge when trying to mobilize the bariatric population due to their limited weight capacity. Other factors that can make SPHM difficult for this population include lack of staff experience or sensitivity, inadequate staffing, and staff fearing injury. Patient psychosocial issues which may further impede mobility, such as lack of motivation, fear of falling, dignity issues, pain, anxiety, and depression, can all lead to poor patient outcomes, prolonged length of stay, limited discharge options, and high costs. This article will describe the journey of a 615-lb patient who was non-ambulatory for 3 years and upon discharge was able to walk 100 feet independently and go home with her son.

Labreche M, Tucker K, Kleinclaus T

Keywords: early mobility, safe patient handling, bariatric