By Kristin Beerman | email
Edited by Jon Bush | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Maybe someday we can all say goodbye to the cold hospital gown because a hospital in St. Louis is trying something new. It's called the Bair Paws System and it's a temperature controlled gown designed with operating room technology as the newest thing in infection control. Every surgical patient wears one from pre-op to post-op.
"It's wonderful. It doesn't get too too hot, it stays about the same temperature, but if you want you can turn it up this is part of it here," said Edith Brown, a surgical patient.
It keeps the body temperature at exactly 97 degrees because they say studies show that warming patients lowers the risk of heart attack after surgery, reduces time spent in the ICU and even shortens hospital stays.
"When they're cold, their blood vessels will constrict and when that happens it actually causes the tissues to get harder and less pliable or receptive to the antibiotics," said Ora Wood, a Surgical Services Director at St. Anthony's.
The gown is actually part of a set that includes a hat and warm socks at a cost of just $10 per patient. Wood says it's been worth the investment at St. Anthony's Medical Center in St. Louis because, he says, the infection rates there have gone down in the year that they've been trying the warming gowns.
Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.