A rising number of overweight and obese patients is leading to changes in patient care at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

A rising number of overweight and obese patients is leading to changes in patient care at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Hospital feeling effects of obesity

A rising number of overweight and obese patients is leading to changes in patient care at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

A rising number of overweight and obese patients is leading to changes in patient care at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Rob Swanson, director of medical and surgical in-patient services, said that over the past few years, they’ve noticed more and more patients who need different care because of their weight.

“We’re evaluating a number of different things, from the layout of washrooms to patient care,” said Swanson on Thursday. “With a bariatric patient, we need to know how to most effectively transport them.”

Obesity is a chronic disease that affects about one million Albertans, or approximately 25 per cent of the province’s population, according to Alberta Health Services.

AHS also reports that obesity is the most pervasive, progressive and serious of chronic diseases facing Albertans. It is linked to 22 other chronic diseases, including up to 90 per cent of all Type 2 diabetes, up to 30 per cent of cancers, and 80 per cent of cardiovascular disease.

Swanson said that the hospital must look at everything from larger wheelchairs to stretchers and mobile lifts.

More of these are being added.

“We do have some in the building of each of those types of equipment,” said Swanson. “We do need to look at increasing those to support this population.”

Swanson said that nearly two-thirds of Canada’s adult population is overweight or obese — or 60 per cent. Twenty-six per cent of Canadian children are the same.

According to the Parliament of Canada’s Obesity Epidemic in Canada report, an adult male is considered overweight when his body weight exceeds the maximum desirable weight for his height, and obese when his body weight is 20 per cent or more over this desirable weight. A similar guideline holds true for women, but at a threshold of 25 per cent. Dramatic increases in overweight and obesity among Canadians over the past 30 years have been deemed to constitute an epidemic.

Swanson said the hospital has a bariatric specialty program, both medical and surgical. Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity.

The clinic includes giving clients information on nutrition, physical activity and the like.

Definitely, seeing larger-sized patients is becoming more common at the hospital, according to Swanson.

The bariatric specialty program involves 500 existing patients, including 125 new surgical cases for 2012.

Alberta Health Services is looking at a greater focus on how to better treat obesity.

“It’s a root cause of so many other conditions, like diabetes and cancer and increased cardiovascular risk,” said Swanson.

The key is ensuring that treatment and preventive care involves a multi-disciplinary approach, Swanson added.

“The people who are involved include physical therapists, social workers and psychiatrists,” he said. “Even the volunteers and community supports.”

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
New record: Red Deer at 236 active COVID cases

One more death in central zone reported

The City of Red Deer is still repaying two loans for the Sorensen Station parkade, which are contributing to a deficit in the parking revenue fund. (Advocate staff)
Dropping parking revenues in Red Deer are creating a deficit

Loan repayments for the cost of the parkade are straining reserves

Red Deer firefighters look for coloured tags on downtown fire hydrants to determine water pressure levels before connecting their hoses to fight blazes, such as this fire at a low-income housing complex last summer. (Advocate file photo.)
Tagged fire hydrants are some of the City of Red Deer’s new innovations

New ideas are being generated to improve services or save money: general-manager

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
‘Fake’ police officers demand money, Red Deer RCMP warn of scam

Red Deer RCMP are warning the public of a concerning incident where… Continue reading

The sit-down area of Red Deer's Tim Hortons at 3020 22nd St. was closed to the public on Monday because of an "evolving health situation." The drive-through was open and remained busy.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Red Deer Tim Hortons restaurant dining room closed due to “evolving health situation”

Drive-through at Tim Hortons in southeast Red Deer remained open

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Vancouver Whitecaps forward Fredy Montero celebrates after scoring a goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. The Vancouver Whitecaps are hanging on to several of their young players and continuing contract talks with two veterans, including Montero. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Steve Dipaola
Whitecaps exercise options on seven players, ‘continuing discussions’ with Montero

Whitecaps exercise options on seven players, ‘continuing discussions’ with Montero

Toronto FC forward Pablo Piatti (7) cuts past Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ali Adnan (53) during first half MLS Canadian Championship soccer action in Toronto on Friday, August 21, 2020. Barring a new agreement, Toronto FC is parting ways with designated player Pablo Piatti. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto FC looks for new designated player, opts not to pick up Piatti option

Toronto FC looks for new designated player, opts not to pick up Piatti option

Hamilton Forge FC players celebrate their win over CD Olimpia's during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 action in Hamilton, Ont., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. After a season that has taken it from Hamilton to Charlottetown, El Salvador and Panama, Forge FC hopes the Dominican Republic is the last stop on the way to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Forge FC just one win away from booking ticket to CONCACAF Champions League

Forge FC just one win away from booking ticket to CONCACAF Champions League

A police officer patrols near the Olympic Symbol being transported on a barge in the Odaiba section Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Tokyo. The five Olympic rings are back in Tokyo Bay. They were removed for maintenance four months ago shortly after the Tokyo Olympics were postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Olympic rings back in Tokyo Bay; a sign of hope in pandemic

Olympic rings back in Tokyo Bay; a sign of hope in pandemic

Ottawa Redblacks player Brad Sinopoli speaks to reporters as the team clears out of the locker room, in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. Sinopoli fully understands the challenge Kendall Hinton faced Sunday with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos activated Hinton, a receiver, from the practice roster to become the starting quarterback in Sunday's 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Former quarterback Brad Sinopoli can appreciate challenges Hinton faced with Broncos

Former quarterback Brad Sinopoli can appreciate challenges Hinton faced with Broncos

Hamilton Forge FC players Giuliano Frano (8) and David Edgar (30) celebrate their team's win over CD Olimpia's during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 action in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Edgar, who announced today he is retiring at the end of the year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Veteran Canadian centre back David Edgar to retire at end of the year

Veteran Canadian centre back David Edgar to retire at end of the year

Sanctuary volunteer Angie Birch greets Wolfdog Rue as she goes through her daily chores at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, Cochrane Alberta on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley
‘My heartdog’: Misunderstood wolfdogs get permanent home at sanctuary near Calgary

‘My heartdog’: Misunderstood wolfdogs get permanent home at sanctuary near Calgary

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Quebec Premier Francois Legault leave a news conference in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. Kenney says Alberta’s largest hospitals are at 91 per cent capacity due to COVID-19 cases and widespread cancellation of more non-urgent surgeries may be necessary. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta premier says hospitals stressed by COVID-19, more surgeries may be cancelled

Alberta premier says hospitals stressed by COVID-19, more surgeries may be cancelled

Most Read