Inexpensive Morbidly Obese Client Solutions

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  • Title

    Inexpensive Morbidly Obese Client Solutions
  • Submitted By

    Denise Ruby
  • HomeGrown Solution Number

  • Identification of the Problem

    The current obesity suits are extremely expensive. Our community college has a small lab budget. This "fat suit" was obtained from a costume supply company for $45. I made simple adaptions for peripheral edema and ascites by cutting seams and using adhesive velcro for closure. To create peripheral edema, open up velcro on the lower legs and put in a rectangle of memory foam. To create ascites, open up the velcro at the belly and put in a bag of fluid. Doing this transformed one of our old, very worn out low fidelity manikin into one that is viable for many areas of simulation.
  • Unique Idea

    Many small simulation labs have limited staff and budget to create realistic obese clients. This idea not only transformed an old manikin, but added to content areas for simulation that we were unable to pursue prior in a realistic way. These areas include assessment for peripheral edema in heart failure, ascites in liver failure, and overall care for a morbidly obese client. Because this was an old manikin, it is left moulaged. Minor changes of wigs and the half mask make it easy to create a different client with little work.
  • Objectives

    To produce a morbidly obese client for student learning 1. connecting right sided heart failure to peripheral edema 2. connecting ascites to liver failure 3. to provide students with a simulated experience of caring for a morbidly obese client in order to self-reflect on attitudes, feelings, and values. To transform an old, worn out manikin in a low cost way To create a manikin that can be easily moulaged for a variety of low fidelity simulations.
  • Supplies/Ingredients

    1. Morris Costumes fat suit (Amazon) $42.90
    2. Velcro sticky back tape 5' x 3/4" roll (Amazon) $10.28
    3. Supersize caricature fat mask (Amazon) $6.06
    4. Memory foam bath mat (dollar store) $5.00
  • Steps to Creating the Solution

    1. Carefully cut seam under belly from left to right hip. This allows for extra padding or insertion of fluid bag. Do the same on the anterior inner edge of the lower legs from just below the knees to the end of the costume. This creates a pocket for insertion of memory foam.
    2. Measure velcro for each section of open areas. It is best to unroll the velcro and measure using it exactly as it comes out of the package. Do not remove the backing or take pieces apart or it will stick to other areas of the costume as you are measuring.
    3. Once you have the pieces cut to size, peel backing off one side and stick on to an open seam. After securing one seam, peel backing and stick velcro to other open seam. Check to see if seam match up and if so, press down to secure velcro to material. If not satisfied with seam connection, carefully unpeel velcro and restick to material.
    4. For peripheral edema, cut rectangles of memory foam to fit inside anterior lower leg cavity. Multiple rectangles can be cut and layered to achieve a variety of examples of pitting edema.
    5. If desired, place the half mask and wig for enhanced moulage effects.


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