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How to Weigh Patients Whose Poundage Is Off the Scale

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To weigh patients whose weight exceeds the limit of your office scale, try the following maneuver.

To weigh patients whose weight exceeds the limit of your office scale, try the following maneuver:

• Weigh another person (eg, your office assistant) whose weight falls within the range of the scale.
• Tape the handle of a reflex hammer to the scale's balance beam and weigh your assistant again.
• Subtract the second figure from your assistant's actual weight; record this "differential."
• With the handle of the reflex hammer taped to the balance beam, weigh your heavy patient.
• Add the recorded differential to the number on the scale. This is the weight of your patient.

-- Harold S. Jacobs, MD
Colorado Springs, Colo

 

A Handy Measure: Know Your Nail

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