Navigation Links
Nude-colored hospital gowns could help doctors better detect hard-to-see symptoms

Troy, N.Y. Changing the hue of hospital gowns and bed sheets to match a patient's skin color could greatly enhance a physician's ability to detect cyanosis and other health-related skin color changes, according to a new study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

"If a doctor sees a patient, and then sees the patient again later, the doctor will have little or no idea whether the patient's skin has changed color," said neurobiologist and study leader Mark Changizi, assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer. "Small shifts in skin color can have tremendous medical implications, and we have proposed a few simple tools skin-colored gowns, sheets, and adhesive tabs that could better arm physicians to make more accurate diagnoses."

Human eyes evolved to see in color largely for the purpose of detecting skin color changes such as when other people blush, Changizi said. These emotive skin color changes are extremely apparent because humans are hard-wired to notice them, and because the background skin color remains unchanged. The contrast against the nearby "baseline" skin color is what makes blushes so noticeable, he said.

Human skin also changes color as a result of hundreds of different medical conditions. Pale skin, yellow skin, and cyanosis a potentially serious condition of bluish discoloration of the skin, lips, nails, and mucous membranes due to lack of oxygen in the blood are common symptoms. These color changes often go unnoticed, however, because they often involve a fairly universal shift in skin color, Changizi said. The observer in most instances will just assume the patient's current skin color is the baseline color. The challenge is that there is no color contrast against the baseline for the observer to pick up on, as the baseline skin color has changed altogether.

(To hear Changizi address the age-old question of why human veins look blue, see:

One potential solution, Changizi said, is for hospitals to outfit patients with gowns and sheets that are nude-colored and closely match their skin tone. Another solution is to develop adhesive tabs in a large palette of skin-toned colors. Physicians could then choose the tabs that most closely resemble the patient's skin tone, and place the tabs at several places on the skin of the patient. Both techniques should afford doctors and clinicians an easy and effective tool to record the skin tone of a patient, and see if it deviates even very slightly from its "baseline" color over time.

"If a patient's skin color shifts a small amount, the change will often be imperceptible to doctors and nurses," Changizi said. "If that patient is wearing a skin-colored gown or adhesive tab, however, and their skin uniformly changes slightly more blue, the initially 'invisible' gown or tab will appear bright and yellow to the observer."

While there are devices for specifically measuring the oxygen content of blood to help detect the onset of cyanosis, Changizi said the color recognition offered by the color-matched adhesive tabs and hospital gowns would be another tool to tip off the clinician that there is even a need to measure blood oxygen content. The color-matched tabs and gowns would also benefit many hospital departments, as well as international hospitals, which lack equipment to measure blood oxygen content, he said.


Contact: Michael Mullaney
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Related biology news :

1. Temple University Hospital and PASNAP Negotiations Break Off: Talks to Resume Later Today
2. Researchers find Clostridium difficile is more common than MRSA in southeast community hospitals
3. Hospital scanner could curb nuclear waste threat
4. University Hospitals Case Medical Center testing gene therapy for Alzheimers disease
5. Pollution linked to hospitalizations for pneumonia in older adults
6. New study finds MRSA on the rise in hospital outpatients
7. Picis ED PulseCheck Increases Security and Privacy Protection in Nearly 150 Hospitals Through the Use of DigitalPersona Biometrics
8. NeuroAIDS is target of federal grant to Childrens Hospital
9. Miriam Hospital researcher receives more than $12 million to study weight control
10. Bates County Memorial Hospital Integrates Fujitsu PalmSecure Biometric Solution Into New Time and Attendance System
11. Rensselaer leads effort to replace 1 of the most widely used drugs in American hospitals
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Nude-colored hospital gowns could help doctors better detect hard-to-see symptoms
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need ... analytical tools has been paving the way for ... determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, ... being predominantly used in medical applications, however, their ... sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving product ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... 09, 2015 ... the "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market ... --> ) has announced the ... Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their ... ( ) has announced the addition ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... MINNETONKA, Minn. , Oct. 29, 2015   ... that supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is ... the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of ... in the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The ... and individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... November 30, 2015 TapImmune, Inc. ... development of innovative peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines ... announced it will be presenting at the 8 th ... 2015 at 2.30 PM PT. Dr. John N. ... will be giving the presentation and will join TapImmune ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... BETHESDA, Md. , Nov. 30, 2015  Northwest ... biotechnology company developing DCVax® personalized immune therapies for solid ... to adding an additional independent director, and the Company ... investigation of allegations in a recent anonymous internet report ... on both initiatives. Linda Powers stated, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Technical Program that includes over 2,000 technical presentations offered in symposia, oral ... chemistry and applied spectroscopy, covers a wide range of applications such as, but ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE ... has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in ... operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of the ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could ... change" as defined in Section 382 of the Code. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: