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AHRQ weighs in on the patient safety dilemma of Obesity in the Surgical Patient

As the problem of obesity continues to escalate in the United States, the number of bariatric surgeries has risen proportionately. With 68.8% of the population considered overweight or obese, hospitals have thoroughly prepared and made special considerations for managing bariatric surgeries. Obesity is now considered the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. A recent publication in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists1 describes the high incidence of obesity in a general surgery population. This publication notes the need for hospitals to be prepared to care for these patients using appropriate instruments in order to support the safe delivery of surgical care. Special consideration must be given to anesthesia management with appropriate positioning, attention to the physiological effect of obesity on cardiac function and blood volume, and effective airway management.

To read the full study click here: A Patient Safety Dilemma: Obesity in the Surgical Patient.


1Goode, V. et al . “A Patient Safety Dilemma: Obesity in the Surgical Patient.” American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 84(6) (2016). 404–412.

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