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Imaging the Obese Patient

With the obesity epidemic sweeping our nation (and some other countries), we are faced with caring for a patient population never before seen, in these numbers: The morbidly obese.
Sometimes we need to use CT imaging to evaluate these patients for significant/dangerous pathology. But the rumors abound about the BMI/wt limits. Thanks to our Rads Chief Resident, Serge Sicular, we’ll set the record straight, here and now.

1. The max wt we can image is 450lbs at main CT (the ED CT can only scan up to 350lbs), but with the caveat that if the machine doesn’t move or the pt doesn’t fit into the donut portion, they need to be transferred to an OSH for a scan.

2. If the tech tells us the pt is too big, we should page the rads resident to confirm the need to use the main CT scan or transfer the patient out (this is a big deal bc it costs the dept time/money and delays diagnosis and treatment time; the pt still has to be transferred back to sinai, potentially too)

3. Dr. Sicular will make sure that the rads residents are all aware of the weight limits of the machines.

4. If we do transfer a patient to Jacobi (which has a scan with a larger limit), the rads team there should interpret the images; please get a digital copy of the images for surgery, neurosurg, etc.

Written by phil

October 30th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Radiology

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