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Phone app

Bariatrics+ app and emergency management of obese patients

App provides the information at their fingertips

UK bariatric specialists have developed the Bariatrics+ app to help manage bariatric patients in the emergency setting. The unique app provides background information on morbid obesity, surgery and other treatments and how to manage early and late complications.

Managing a morbidly obese patient who presents as an emergency can be daunting for doctors unfamiliar with bariatric surgery. Even when patients have lost weight, there are particular complications that need to be considered and the changes in anatomy as a result of previous surgery can be confusing. As a result, many bariatric patients experience a delay in appropriate management, or in some cases, are managed incorrectly.

Ms Sally Norton, consultant bariatric surgeon and British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) council member, has developed a free iPhone app to help address this problem and improve patient safety.

Ms Sally Norton

“Trainees and consultants will increasingly be faced with managing emergencies in this challenging group of patients - this app provides all the information they need at their fingertips,” she said.

Photos, illustrations and radiological images help the user understand the operations and implants that patients may have had or complications that may have occurred. Links to medical or industry websites provide extra information as needed.

The app has the support of BOMSS. In addition, generous industry support from Medical Innovation Developpement (MID), Covidien, Ethicon Endosurgery and Bariatric Solutions has enabled the app to be made available for free download via the iTunes store.

Key features of the app include:

  • Morbid Obesity – background to the epidemic, definition, associated problems and treatment options.
  • Bariatric Ops - understand about common and not-so-common operations and procedures to treat morbid obesity - as well as the indications for revisional surgery.
  • Emergencies - basic principles for treating any morbidly obese patient, explanation of symptoms and complications associated with weight loss surgery, appropriate investigations and urgent treatment options - including how to deflate a gastric band.
  • Images - gallery of photographs, X-rays and operative images that may be invaluable in managing bariatric emergencies. video link to demonstration of gastric band deflation.
  • More - useful links to educational and industry websites where further information can be found.

If you would like to provide suggestions for improvement or would like to sponsor this patient safety and medical education initiative to allow translation into other languages and expansion to other mobile platforms, please contact Ms Sally Norton via BOMSS:

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