by Steve Salomon, RN, MBA
Bariatrics is the term used to define the specialty of treating obesity. Obesity increases the risks of other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, asthma, other gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal diseases. According to the CDC two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight and the trend continues to increase each year.
Incontinence is one of the challenges associated with care of the bariatric patient. Product selection is critical but has been very confusing for the patient and caregiver alike. Manufacturers of incontinence products do not have a standard when labeling their products as bariatric. As an example, if you are going into a store to purchase a large shirt, you would have a fairly good idea what the size and fit will be like, with small variations, but how do you decipher the difference between incontinence products labeled XL, 2xl, 3xl, and bariatric? You might think it runs like clothing and a 3xl must be the largest size.
Manufacturers of incontinence products label their largest available product as bariatric even though they may be considered by most to be a large or extra large product. Understand that a product sized as 50”, 60” or even 70” is not going to properly fit a person weighing 300 – 500 lbs. When looking for a “true” bariatric product one must clearly look for a few key features. These include a true bariatric size which is 90”. Another key feature to consider is that not only does the waist fit that size but is the “meat” of the product in proportion to the waist. A large waist with a small pad-like target area is not a“true” bariatric product.
Look at features and benefits that address: Odor control, pH neutralization, Leakage and bacterial inhibition as well as a product that will fit the patient and allow him/ her to maintain a dignified environment and lead as productive a life as possible. The Tranquility Bariatric Brief is the “true” bariatric brief that will meet all of those needs of your patient maintaining optimal skin health while achieving cost effectiveness.