VINYL COUGH PILLOWS
A WATERPROOF POST-OP AID
1. Versatile Tool Click
2. Innovative Design Click
3. EZ-Clean™ Solution Click
4. Cost-Effective Click
5. User-Friendly Click
6. Long-Term Use Click
7. Product Comparison Click
8. Post-Op Aid - See Below
9. Promotion-Friendly Click
10. Heartfelt Keepsake Click
11. Vinyl Cover Click
12. Inner Pillow Click
13. Removable Click
14. Safety First Click
15. Keep Clean & Dry Click
16. Waterproof Click
17. Washable & Dryable Click
18. Reusable Click
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FEATURE # 8 POST-OP RECOVERY AID
COUGH PILLOWS, aka HEART PILLOWS
Post-Op Aid for Cardiac Surgery Patients and Many More
Cough pillows and heart pillows are interchangeable terms. They are called Heart Pillows because of the shape, also because they are most commonly used as a heart surgery aid. These pillows are also referred to as Cough Pillows because they help reduce pain when post-op patients undergo necessary coughing exercises. It is very important to note that we call our items as Cough Pillows because:
Although it is true that our pillows are designed primarily for heart surgery survivors, our heart-shaped pillows work for any chest and esophageal surgeries.
In addition to the heart-shaped pillows, we have many other shapes available including the shapes of the kidney, lung, and liver.
We call them cough pillows because post-op coughing exercises are the main purpose of the pillow. But, our pillows are also used for sternal precautions and emotional support.
Since the pillows are most commonly used in cardiac post-operative care, and the heart-shaped pillows are the most popular shape that works for all specialties, we are using a heart-shaped cough pillow in our discussion below. But the approach works for all specialties and all shapes of cough pillows.
1. PATIENT'S DILEMMAS
Patients face dilemmas after a heart surgery including heart transplant, coronary bypass, and valve replacement.
2-Minute Video Credited to Sharp Healthcare
On one hand, when the bone heals, it is critical for patients to protect it from the excess force and limit movement of the chest and upper body. Sternal precautions require patients to avoid activities that involve pushing, pulling, or lifting with their arms for about 6-8 weeks.
On the other hand, however, patients must change positions and get out of bed and get back into bed. Particularly, recovering patients must complete deep coughing exercises to avoid common post-op complications such as pneumonia and areas of the collapse of the lung.
Cough Pillows aka Heart Pillows offer an effective solution for this dilemma. Under the guidance and help of the bedside nurse or exercise physiologist, patients hug the pillow to the chest to splint the external incision and conduct necessary movements.
Considering the fact that vulnerable patients place their cough pillows so close to the incision site, the pillow has to stay dry and clean or the patient can easily get infected. That is why our EZ-Clean™ Vinyl Cough Pillows were developed and are getting trendier after Covid-19 occurred. Please see the details below.
Hug the Pillow Tightly against the Chest
2. COUGH PILLOWS HELP MAINTAIN STERNAL PRECAUTIONS
For recovering cardiac patients, even the simplest acts of daily living like getting out of bed are difficult and painful. Any pushing, pulling, or other mobility may affect the healing. During recovery, patients must maintain the sternal precautions to give the greatest protection to the sternal area.
Our cough pillows, heart-shaped or other, serve as an excellent therapeutic tool when educating patients on maintaining sternal precautions. The pillow is a visual and tactile aid that provides nursing and therapy staff a way to train patients on protecting and stabilizing the incision area during recovery.
As a general rule, patients need to hug the pillow as instructed during mobility. How to hug? This is our recommendation. The V-cut of the cardiac pillow shall be placed towards the patient’s chin (It’s great for the chin rest, too). The patient shall wrap their arms around the pillow and hold it tightly against the chest by the incision site and sensitive skin surrounding the incision site. As you can imagine, the pillow provides an extra layer of pressure to counteract any jolting from a movement, cough, or sneeze. It will facilitate proper stabilization of the sternal area and limit pain associated with these exercises.
Example 1, How to Get Out of Bed
Patients are not allowed to use their arms to push or pull themselves in and out of bed or a chair. How to get out of bed? Hug the pillow as instructed, walk their legs towards the side of the bed, and knees up so the feet are on the bed. Push with the heels and roll onto the patient's side, drop the feet off the side of the bed while the patient pushes up with their bottom elbow.
Example 2, How to Change Positions
If the cardiac patient wants to move from a supine position to a seated position, for example, they should hug the pillow as instructed, and then roll onto their side and gently push up using the elbow, allowing the greatest protection of the sternal area.
Makeshift supports such as folded sheets, poorly positioned pillows or teddy bears can be detrimental to the patient’s ability to heal. In addition to slowing the healing process, these items are more difficult to keep clean and free of contamination.
Nursing and therapy staff instructs the patient to hug the heart pillow to their chest as they roll to help ensure proper technique. When the patient is not working on mobility or diaphragmatic breathing techniques, the pillow can be used like any standard pillow to support the neck or low back in bed or while sitting.
Our surgical pillows can also be beneficial for patients who have undergone a variety of procedures, including any open-heart surgery, lung or kidney transplants, bladder surgeries, hysterectomies, C-sections, valve replacements, coronary bypass and more.
Sternal Precautions Credited to BJ
3. COUGH PILLOWS REDUCE PAIN WHEN PERFORMING COUGHING AND DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES
All surgical patients are at risk of developing pneumonia after surgery due to decreased mobility and extended periods of time in the supine position. Due to pain and weakness in the sternal area, patients are often resistant to coughing and diaphragmatic breathing. The nurse and exercise physiologist shall coach the patients to practice diaphragmatic breathing and coughing techniques throughout the day to move blood and oxygen into the lungs, improve circulation, and expel mucus from the lungs. This helps avoid common post-op complications such as pneumonia and areas of the collapse of the lung.
Coughing may be painful, but it is a safe and important action. When performing the coughing exercise, patients shall place the pillow with the V-cut towards the chin, wrap their arms around the pillow and hold it tightly against the chest. The hugs will help decrease the pain when coughing.
It is important for the patients to take a deep breath in and cough from the belly. It is not sufficient just clearing the throat. Instead, the patient must bring up the mucus and spit out. This coughing will clear the lungs of mucus which may prevent pneumonia.
Post Cardiac Surgery Exercise
Credited to Southlake RHC
4. COUGH PILLOWS OFFER EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
In addition to the sternal precautions and pain reduction when coughing and deep breathing, but still equally important, our cough pillow provides strong mental and emotional support.
When the patient first receives the cough pillow, the registered nurse and bedside nurse can use a regular permanent marker to sign the pillow, just welcoming and acknowledging their care. And then, all the care-providers in contact with the patient after that initial exchange are expected to sign the pillow as well. These signatures shown clearly on the cool cough pillows are a great token of appreciation, commitment, and well wishes.
The patient’s family members and friends will also sign the pillows. They can also easily write a get-well message and draw some warm designs.
The cough pillows, particularly the heart-shaped pillow, not only symbolize the anatomical location of the surgery, but also represent the hope, strength, and new beginnings for each patient. The heart-shaped pillow together with signatures and messages from family, friends, and healthcare providers is a powerful mental and emotional support that is sure to help the patient stay positive and encouraged in their difficult journey back towards a normal, healthy life.
Emotional and Mental Support
Cozier Support and
Stronger Personal Touch
5. OUR PILLOW WORKS MUCH BETTER
Our Cough Pillows are Easy to Clean while Cloth Pillows are Hard
Cough Pillows aka Heart Pillows are hugged by venerable patients on or close to the incision site. What if the pillow gets wet or messy? What if the vomits, blood, mucus, or other liquid gets on it? Does that mean the pillow is infection-prone?
Infection is a common, serious concern from all traditional cough pillows. Both of the cloth surfaces and fiberfill are hard for the nurse to clean and easy for germs to breed on top of or inside. Traditional cloth cough pillows are infection-prone. That is exactly what our Cough Pillows address!
Our EZ-Clean™ Cough Pillow has a vinyl outer cover that wraps the inner pillow filled with microbeads, compared to a cloth pillow that is a pillowcase filled with polyester fiberfill. Our vinyl cover has a smooth surface that is germ-resistant. The cover is waterproof that keeps messes and liquids on the top. A nurse can wipe the pillow with a piece of tissue or cloth over the smooth surface and spray hospital-graded disinfectant. Upon disinfected, our cough pillow can be reused immediately. No backup pillows are needed.
When a mess occurs on a cloth pillow, however, the liquid leaks inside before anyone can react. No one can wipe the mess that has been inside, between the weaves or sticky on the threads. The messy pillows cannot be reused before being washed and dried so backup pillows are needed for each patient.
In addition, if the pillows are washed, our vinyl pillows are 7-10 times faster than the cloth pillows on the market.
See our Patient Safety First for the full details.
Our Cough Pillows Offer Better Support
Our Cough Pillows are filled with microbeads that can move inside when pressed upon. When a patient hugs the pillow, the microbeads filling moves to contour to the body offering cozier, effective support. The cloth pillows are stuffed with a fiberfill filling that does not move. See Microbeads Filled Inner Pillows for more details.
Our cough pillows have smooth and shiny surfaces that are very ink friendly. The signatures, designs, and logo or educational diagram will show much crispier and more brilliant and will stay fresh and clear for years. The clear and long-lasting printing gives a clearer message with stronger confidence the patient will enjoy. See Heartfelt Keepsake for more details.