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UC design innovation: New hope for the hated hospital gown
Date:5/14/2009

ant to solve one problem or create a solution for one thing that might have five unintended consequences," explained Engstrom.

He added that Hill-Rom has shown the student work to a company advisory board of national nursing executives. "They were extremely excited about the project and saw that it has great value," said Engstrom.

GOWN FOR THE SERIOUSLY ILL, BEDRIDDEN PATIENT

The most important thing for a bedridden patient is to prevent pressure ulcers, according to Brooke Brandewie, a student who graduated from the product-development track of UC's fashion design program in June 2008 and who is now working at the Live Well Collaborative as a design research associate.

"We created a gown that will allow the mattress to be the mattress. The gown is open backed for high-risk, immobile patients so the areas on the body (most susceptible to pressure ulcers) can be healed from the mattress technology, without fabric bunching in between," Brandewie explained.

In addition, this gown (and the others created by the students) provides easy access at the shoulder via slits and closures in the design so that caregivers may operate IV units or other drug-delivery tools.

The students recommend that this gown and the related versions be made from naturally anti-microbial materials like bamboo or crabyon (a material actually made from crab shells).

UC's Margaret Voelker-Ferrier said, "Such materials cut down on bacteria. This helps ensure the health of a patient and also cuts down on any body odors."

THE GOWN THAT SERVES AS A "REWARD" FOR THE IMPROVING PATIENT

There's nothing as comfortable as a bath robe, or your own clothes that you wear at home. And that's the inspiration behind a gown created by the UC students for the semi-mobile patient. It mimics "comfort clothes."

Said Brandewie, "As the patient improves in condition, they will 'graduate' to the next gown appropriate f
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Contact: M.B. Reilly
mary-bridget.reilly@uc.edu
513-556-1824
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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