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Covid-19 HSE Clinical Guidance and Evidence

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Guidance from National Obesity Management Clinical Programme

  • Individuals with obesity should be included in the HSCP ‘at risk’ groups and advised to follow the corresponding advice:
  • Health care professionals, particularly those involved assessing individuals with suspected COVID 19, should be made aware that Individuals with obesity should be included in the HSCP ‘at risk’ groups.
  • Health care professionals should follow obesity specific guidelines for clinical nutrition in the intensive care unit
  • People with obesity who are self-isolating and avoiding social contact are already stigmatized and already experiencing higher rates of depression. Social isolation is at the heart of obesity stigma. Health care providers need to challenge obesity bias. Obesity should be assessed using a validated staging tool such as the Edmonton Obesity Staging System, not just BMI alone (Padwal et al 2011 and high BMI should not preclude individuals with obesity from receiving appropriate care.
  • Special beds and positioning/transport equipment may not be widely available in hospitals. A proactive approach should be taken in managing the requirements of an increased number of individuals with obesity accessing health care services through risk assessment, care planning and procurement of specialist bariatric equipment. For example, appropriately sized blood pressure cuffs for accurate blood pressure measurements. See HSE guidance:
  • Presence of obesity/actual BMI should be included in standardised data surveillance systems in individuals requiring hospitalisation and ICU/HDU to assist in both disease prevention and treatment strategies

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