Recommended Bariatric Equipment in the Healthcare Industry

Bariatric Commodes for Healthcare

There are many concerns when it comes to ensuring that toilet facilities are accessible and functional for bariatric patients. Safe working loads for toilets are normally considered 110-125kg, which means that special equipment is needed for bariatric patients (Clinical Excellence Division 2018). Toilet seats that are too small or too low can pose difficulties for bariatric patients with mobility issues and excess adipose tissue can restrict them from reaching the perineal area after toileting (Peninsula Health Care Network 2015). In these cases, an over-toilet aid or commode with a front seat opening can be used as an alternative solution for bariatric patients (Peninsula Health Care Network 2015). Some options include over toilet aids, bedside commodes and mobile shower commodes to assist bariatric patients with mobility and toileting, both independently and with assistance.

Bariatric Wheelchairs for Healthcare

Bariatric patients need appropriate space, facilities and equipment to ensure that they can access hospital and care facilities, this means that bariatric wheelchairs should be readily available to transport patients through the facilities and that the facility should be designed to accommodate oversized equipment, particularly in hallways, rooms and bathrooms (Wignall 2008).

Bariatric wheelchairs have a larger seat width and depth, a strengthened frame for safety and solid tyres to help support bariatric clients with additional size and weight.

Alternating Pressure Mattresses for Bariatric Care

Due to their size and weight obese patients are at acute risk for developing pressure ulcers when staying at healthcare facilities (Pemberton, Turner & VanGilder 2009). Alternating pressure mattresses are made to redistribute a patient’s weight when they are immobile, relieving the pressure on a single part of the body and alternating it throughout the day and night. Pressure-relieving mattresses are an important part of ulcer prevention in the healthcare industry and bariatric care (Pemberton, Turner & VanGilder 2009).

When considering alternating pressure mattresses for bariatric patients, there is the option of sourcing an overlay or replacing the existing mattress altogether. The Eton 5” King Single Alternating Overlay is suitable for medium to high-risk patients, can be used over an existing hospital mattress, has a low water score and an ultra-quiet digital pump that make it perfect for both the day and night.

If the patient is going to be under care for a longer period of time and a regular hospital mattress is not suitable then the Otley Integrated Hybrid Mattress is a high-quality pressure care mattress suitable for bariatric care. It has three methods of pressure reduction for obese patients including a high specification foam mattress, pumpless air mattress and a dynamic alternating air mattress, making it suitable for whatever level of care a bariatric patient needs.

Clinical Excellence Division 2018, ‘S-AD05: Prescribe, train and review use of toilet seating equipment’, Queensland Health, viewed 17 September 2021,

Pemberton V, Turner V, VanGilder C. 2009, ‘The effect of using a low-air-loss surface on the skin integrity of obese patients: results of a pilot study’, Ostomy Wound Manage, vol. 2, no. 44-8.

Peninsula Health Care Network 2015, ‘Occupational Therapy evidence-based practice guidelines for the

prescription of bariatric home modifications’, viewed 17 September 2021,

Wignall D. 2008, ‘Design as a critical tool in bariatric patient care’, Journal of diabetes science and technology, vol 2, no. 263–267.