Bariatric Ambulance

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As the United States population becomes more and more obese, the need for bariatric ambulances has become more pronounced and many states already have responded by purchasing specialized bariatric ambulance units. A bariatric ambulance is a specialized medical transport vehicle that has been modified to carry very large, obese individuals. The interior of these ambulances are wider than traditional ambulance models and contain “bariatric stretchers”, lifting equipment, and other medical necessities for the extremely obese.

Bariatric ambulances are more expensive that a normally sized ambulance. Typically, because of the expense involved in purchasing this type of transport unit, they are only available in larger cities. Sometime, bariatric ambulances are classified as heavy vehicles that require special licensure to operate. Special bariatric patient training is also often necessary to help paramedics and EMT’s learn the basics of how to operate the specialized equipment contained in these vehicles and respond effectively to the special needs in the bariatric patient population.


A bariatric ambulance can add dignity and reliability to the transport of very large bariatric patients. By   using access ramps, a cot loading system, and specialized hydraulics to enhance patient care, a bariatric ambulance can safely transport even very obese patients to a medical facility while providing necessary medical care. As the epidemic of obesity continues, the need for specialized bariatric ambulances will continue to rise. Technologies to assist bariatric patients during medical emergencies and during transport from one medical to another are being developed to help meet the needs of this population of individuals more effectively.

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