Novel plastic box enables alert senses up to the operating room
Before surgery, all private items are removed from the patient for safety and hygiene reasons. This also applies to glasses, hearing aids and dental prostheses, which, however, has the consequence for patients that their eyesight, hearing ability and articulation ability are often severely restricted even before the actual operation begins.
"Many people experience this limitation as stressful and in many cases also scary," explained Hannelore Dirschlmayer-Steiner, nursing director at the Elisabethinen hospital in Linz. For this reason, the clinic has developed the so-called Elibox together with three private companies and the health cluster of the state of Upper Austria, which is attached to the patient's bed and in which appropriate personal aids can be stored.
Restricted eyesight, hearing and articulation ability Many patients depend on glasses, hearing aids and dental prostheses, but these are usually taken from them in the hospital room and kept in their bedside tables, reports the expert. For example, those affected are severely limited in their ability to see, hear and articulate during transport to the operating room, the preparation phase in the operating room and after anesthesia in the recovery room and when being transported back to the hospital room. A stressful and sometimes even frightening feeling for many patients, knows the nursing director of the Elisabethinen hospital, Hannelore Dirschlmayer-Steiner. For this reason, with the support of the private sector and the Upper Austria health cluster, the clinic has developed a plastic box that can be attached to the patient's bed and enables safe storage of glasses, dentures or hearing aids.
Elibox provides security and preserves dignity The so-called Elibox offers corresponding recesses in the inside to safely store glasses, hearing aids and dentures. It is not left in the hospital room, but remains attached to the patient bed until anesthesia. This means that those affected have their necessary utensils with them until immediately before the operation and the items are available again immediately after waking up. Sister Barbara Lehner, Vicar General and Director of the Health and Nursing School, emphasized that people would be given “a piece of security” back and “also their dignity” would be preserved. The patients can "hear and see everything clearly until the procedure", which makes them "self-determined and less insecure", explained the Vicar General. In addition, the Elibox may also save those affected personally from uncomfortable situations, because "after all, it is degrading when someone has to speak without teeth in the mouth", Sister Barbara continues.
The new box is to be used from June. The experts have been working on the development of the Elibox for a good half a year, although the result is impressive, despite the relatively simple approach. "To our knowledge, this practice is unique worldwide," explained Hannelore Dirschlmayer-Steiner. The Elibox will be used in the Elisabethinen clinics from next June. From then on, the box will also be available to other health facilities as a storage option for personal aids, according to those responsible. It is also planned to sell the box through retail at a price of around eight euros. (fp)
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