Utilization of Resources by Patients Who Are Morbid and Super Obese Admitted to a Tertiary Care Center

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Objectives Data regarding the characteristics of patients who are morbidly and super obese, and the resources they use in nonbariatric hospital settings are limited. The aims of our study were to explore the frequency of inpatient admissions of patients who are morbid (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 40 kg/m2) and super obese (BMI ≥ 50 kg/m2), their specific characteristics, and to identify their utilization of hospital services and resources, 30-day readmission rates, safe patient handling equipment, and patient clinical outcomes. Methods We conducted a retrospective chart review of adult patients hospitalized at our institution (n = 1670) who are morbidly obese or super obese. We collected and compared data regarding the characteristics of patients, the services and resources used, the use of any special handling equipment, and patient clinical outcomes. Results After accounting for confounding variables, wound care and occupational therapy services were more likely to be required for the patients who are super obese (odds ratio [OR] = 1.49, P = 0.04) than for those who are morbidly obese (odds ratio [OR] = 1.36, P = 0.02). Use of safe patient handling devices was twice as likely for the super obese group (OR = 2.09, P < 0.01). There was no difference in mortality rates between the two patient groups (P = 0.81); patients who are super obese had higher odds of prolonged hospital stay by 32% (P = 0.009). Conclusions This study provides an understanding of the characteristics of patients with BMI of 40 kg/m2 or greater who are admitted to the hospital, the resources and services use, and their clinical outcomes. There is also a need to develop an organizational protocol to ensure safe handling using the right devices and activation of appropriate consult services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of patient safety
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • bariatric
  • body mass index
  • obesity
  • resource utilization
  • safe patient handling devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Leadership and Management


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