Obese patients shut out of advanced imaging options

Physical and emotional challenges separate many obese people from numerous healthcare access points and imaging is a common area of struggle.

The New York Times shines a light on the situation in a Sept. 25 article.

“Scanners that can handle very heavy people are manufactured, but one national survey found that at least 90 percent of emergency rooms did not have them,” reports science writer Gina Kolata. “Even four in five community hospitals that were deemed bariatric surgery centers of excellence lacked scanners that could handle very heavy people. Yet CT or MRI imaging is needed to evaluate patients with a variety of ailments, including trauma, acute abdominal pain, lung blood clots and strokes.”

Doctors have been known to “just give up” on obese patients who can’t fit inside a scanner, Kolata writes.

“Some use x-rays to scan, hoping for the best. Others resort to more extreme measures.”

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