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Are You Still Relying on Heart Pillows?

The Heart Pillows (also known as cough or cardiac pillows) that are distributed at hospitals, although they are well-known and widely used, are ineffective for patients and cause hospitals more money in the long run. Heart Pillows serve as great memento’s and may provide a little mental comfort for patients, but nothing more than that.

Simply put, there is no evidence that Heart Pillows are an effective way to help patients heal after heart surgery or that they help reduce the number of complications that arise following surgery. There is also no evidence that Heart Pillows can serve as a therapeutic aid to patients.

Although believed to be a viable solution for patients in pain, Heart Pillows are a placebo and can cost hospitals tremendously in the future. Here are a few facts about the use of the pillow:

  • It is unable to reduce sternal wound infections (DSWI), which results in high costs to hospitals.
  • It cannot splint the sternotomy, and it puts downward pressure on the wound.
  • It cannot function as consistent support as it must be held in place by the patient when it’s needed.
  • The pillow always risks introducing infection as it is in constant contact with environmental surfaces such as car seats, couches, floors, etc.
  • The pillow promotes a more sedentary recovery, which is precisely the opposite of what should be happening following heart surgery.
  • There are no evidence-based guidelines for post-surgical care using the pillow.
  • The pillow does not help reduce a patient’s pain level.
  • The pillow also does not help give patients the confidence needed to perform their respiratory exercises without fear of making their wound worse.

The claims made by Heart Pillow manufacturers would lead one to believe that they have tested and proved the pillow to be viable sternal support, but that isn’t the case. The Heart Pillow has slipped through the cracks of today’s evidence-based medicine.

It’s Time to Rely on a Proven Post-Op External Harness and Reduce Readmission Rates

After surgery, it's vital that patients, physicians, and caregivers strive to avoid readmission. Readmission rates directly affect providers and costs, but they also create different sorts of risks for patients as well.

One tool available for cardiac surgery recovery is the Heart Hugger, an external support harness that provides a range of benefits and can reduce readmission rates. There are a few reasons for this, including:

  • Wound stability
  • Support for coughing, sneezing, or other excess movements
  • Pain relief
  • Reduced complications
  • Locus of Control -- giving patients control over their recovery and pain management

Learn More About Heart Hugger

Learn More About The Proven Effectiveness of Heart Hugger