NBC News: An estimated 5,000 patients in the US each year are denied access to air ambulances during medical emergencies due to excessive weight.
The nation’s weight problem is forcing emergency medical transporters to increase their fleets with bigger helicopters in order to avoid leaving behind critically ill patients who exceed weight or height limits.
When air emergency transport can’t take place, patients must travel by ground instead, a journey that can take twice as long.
Photo courtesy of Air Methods via NBCNews.com
This is a tough situation, obviously—as there are significant cost factors involved. According to one study from last year, obesity now costs the medical field more than smoking.