Saturday, May 18, 2013

Obese Hospital Patients Scanned at Zoos

Houston Chronicle
31 Aug 2007


[...] But perhaps one of the most unusual and persistent requests comes from physicians, or patients, who hope to borrow the [Houston Zoo's] MRI or CT scanners to examine obese people.

It's a long-standing urban legend that zoos have jumbo versions of such equipment to help diagnose illnesses in elephants and other huge creatures. But, to the disappointment of some doctors, zoo officials must tell them they have no such device.

During her five-day shift this week, zoo public affairs coordinator Cathy Kuntz logged four calls inquiring about an MRI scanner. She surveyed local medical facilities to determine what they have and what their weight limits are, and shared the information with callers.

The Daily Telegraph [UK]
1 November 2012

By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent

NHS hospitals will have to use scanners from zoos because they are unable to cope with severely overweight patients, surgeons have predicted. [...]

The Guardian [UK]
17 May 2013

The Guardian finds claims, counter-claims and outright denials as to whether overweight patients have been scanned at zoos

James Meikle

Urban myth or unacknowledged elephant in the room? A consultant working in the x-ray department at a west Midlands hospital has said London zoo had to scan patients who were too obese for NHS equipment. [...]