Obesity and helicopter medevac

The National Center for Health Statistics reports obesity in America has reached alarming rates. It is one of the biggest drivers of healthcare costs that are estimated to range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year. 68.5% of adults are overweight and 34.9% are obese.  Obesity among children and adolescents has escalated.   31.8% are overweight and 16.9% are obese. This is alarming and preventable. Certainly obesity has a negative effect as it increases diabetes and other health conditions.

In a critical care situation where a helicopter is called for transport, it is estimated 5,000 US patients are denied helicopter transport each year because they are too heavy or large to fit in an aircraft. This has created a dilemma for air transport providers. In an NBC report, Craig Yale, vice president of corporate development for Air Methods said, “It’s an issue for sure. We can get to a scene and find the patient is too heavy to be able to go.”    If a patient is too large or heavy to fit in the helicopter, they may not be able to receive the urgent care they need in a fast enough manner. In some cases patients simply cannot fit through the doors. In some instances, an overweight person may be able to fit into the aircraft, but their weight can sometimes prevent a helicopter from lifting off the ground.  This can pose a dangerous risk to all on board. A helicopter crashed in New York’s East River in October 2011 because it was over capacity by 50 pounds.

Americans seem to be sleep walking as they go about getting larger and larger compromising their health and setting poor examples for their children.   Helicopter transport services face having to deny service or invest in larger helicopters.   Obesity is something we need to address in schools and various healthcare facilities by focusing on the problem and teaching sound nutrition.   It can be difficult because when you attempt to mention the problem, a person may feel insulted and defensive. Still, programs need to be set in place to prevent this condition. It’s in everyone’s best interest.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports obesity in America has reached alarming rates. It is one of the biggest drivers of healthcare costs that are estimated to range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year. 68.5% of adults are overweight and 34.9% are obese.  Obesity among children and adolescents has escalated.   31.8% are overweight and 16.9% are obese. This is alarming and preventable. Certainly obesity has a negative effect as it increases diabetes and other health conditions.

In a critical care situation where a helicopter is called for transport, it is estimated 5,000 US patients are denied helicopter transport each year because they are too heavy or large to fit in an aircraft. This has created a dilemma for air transport providers. In an NBC report, Craig Yale, vice president of corporate development for Air Methods said, “It’s an issue for sure. We can get to a scene and find the patient is too heavy to be able to go.”    If a patient is too large or heavy to fit in the helicopter, they may not be able to receive the urgent care they need in a fast enough manner. In some cases patients simply cannot fit through the doors. In some instances, an overweight person may be able to fit into the aircraft, but their weight can sometimes prevent a helicopter from lifting off the ground.  This can pose a dangerous risk to all on board. A helicopter crashed in New York’s East River in October 2011 because it was over capacity by 50 pounds.

Americans seem to be sleep walking as they go about getting larger and larger compromising their health and setting poor examples for their children.   Helicopter transport services face having to deny service or invest in larger helicopters.   Obesity is something we need to address in schools and various healthcare facilities by focusing on the problem and teaching sound nutrition.   It can be difficult because when you attempt to mention the problem, a person may feel insulted and defensive. Still, programs need to be set in place to prevent this condition. It’s in everyone’s best interest.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports obesity in America has reached alarming rates. It is one of the biggest drivers of healthcare costs that are estimated to range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year. 68.5% of adults are overweight and 34.9% are obese.  Obesity among children and adolescents has escalated.   31.8% are overweight and 16.9% are obese. This is alarming and preventable. Certainly obesity has a negative effect as it increases diabetes and other health conditions.

In a critical care situation where a helicopter is called for transport, it is estimated 5,000 US patients are denied helicopter transport each year because they are too heavy or large to fit in an aircraft. This has created a dilemma for air transport providers. In an NBC report, Craig Yale, vice president of corporate development for Air Methods said, “It’s an issue for sure. We can get to a scene and find the patient is too heavy to be able to go.”    If a patient is too large or heavy to fit in the helicopter, they may not be able to receive the urgent care they need in a fast enough manner. In some cases patients simply cannot fit through the doors. In some instances, an overweight person may be able to fit into the aircraft, but their weight can sometimes prevent a helicopter from lifting off the ground.  This can pose a dangerous risk to all on board. A helicopter crashed in New York’s East River in October 2011 because it was over capacity by 50 pounds.

Americans seem to be sleep walking as they go about getting larger and larger compromising their health and setting poor examples for their children.   Helicopter transport services face having to deny service or invest in larger helicopters.   Obesity is something we need to address in schools and various healthcare facilities by focusing on the problem and teaching sound nutrition.   It can be difficult because when you attempt to mention the problem, a person may feel insulted and defensive. Still, programs need to be set in place to prevent this condition. It’s in everyone’s best interest.

 

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#Assassination Generation

I have been reading an alarming book that definitely needs to be widely read:  Assassination Generation by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.  This book is about how children are being essentially trained to be murders by indulging in violent video games.  As a clinical psychologist and a concerned citizen, I have spoken to parents about how learned behaviors in the young go into the subconscious mind and later manifest.  Assassination Generation is a well-researched book with a lot of examples of young people who have gone out and carried out mass killings across this nation.   Every day, we hear of a young person obsessed with killing manages to go out and in irrational ways claiming the lives of innocent people.  America needs to wake up!  The video industry is making massive amounts of money targeting our young in addictive destructive behavior.  Read this book and share it, talk about this problem and help save the children.

Tough decisions 2017

As 2017 begins,  civilian helicopter medevac seems to still be an industry with ongoing  accidents injuring or claiming lives  still on the radar.  At the same time, there’s news of a new helicopter service for children in Atlanta,  called an  “flying  ICU”  the first of its kind that can transport critically injured children and their parents.   So there’s the potential for good news or ongoing bad news.  This seems to be an industry that must inevitably have to make hard line decisions.  Given the cost of a helicopter and staff to provide critical care intervention, one must consider how effective helicopter medevac service really is.  There are perceptions that this is a glutted helicopter market serving few patients.  Health care costs have not stopped escalating.  There was a study in the Silicon Valley area of California that reviewed 947 trauma patients transported to their trauma center.  Their findings were:  only 22.8% of those patients possibly benefited from transport.  In addition, they found that 33.5% of those patients were discharged from the ER and not admitted to the hospital.  So what’s the problem?   Are field personnel in need of greater training to be able to make more effective assessments?  Another good question is:  Did those transported between facilities by air have better outcomes than those transported by ground?    Without a doubt,  more research is needed so that the industry can make sound decisions that will improve life for those injured, and avoid tragic accidents claiming lives.  Continued high cost transport certainly drives escalating health care costs.  What can/ should the helicopter industry do?  What might constitute best business practice?