Kristi Fregia Rucks, a bariatric program coordinator at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, stands with some of the hospital's specialized bariatric equipment made for obese patients.
As Americans' waistlines have expanded, so have hospitals' equipment needs.
At Aspirus Wausau Hospital, those changes started as long ago as 1999, when the Wausau-based health provider began looking at weight limits for its existing equipment and realized it would need to buy new, specialized equipment for the growing number of overweight patients. Hospital officials ordered larger waiting room chairs, wheelchairs, crutches and walkers. In 2007, Aspirus began offering annual sensitivity training for surgeons, nurses, therapists and physicians.
The needs, and the average size of ...