Current estimates of the prevalence of obesity are that a quarter of adult Canadians and one third of Americans are considered obese with approximately 3% being morbidly obese. With the proportion of patients with a BMI>30 growing every year, you’re likely to manage at least one obese patient on every ED shift. Obese patients are at high risk of developing a host of medical complications including diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, biliary disease, sleep apnea, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary embolism and depression, and are less likely compared to non-obese adults to receive timely care in the ED.
Not only are these patients at higher risk for morbidity and mortality, but obesity emergency management is complicated by the patient’s altered cardiopulmonary physiology and drug metabolism. This can make their acute management much more challenging and dangerous. To help us gain a deeper understanding of the challenges of managing obese patients and elucidate a number of important differences as well as practical approaches to obesity emergency management, we welcome Dr. Andrew Sloas, the founder and creator of the fantastic pediatric EM podcast PEM ED, Dr. Richard Levitan, a world-famous airway management educator and innovator and Dr. David Barbic a prominent Canadian researcher in obesity in emergency medicine from University of British Columbia….
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