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Cooling Vest Alleviates Heat Impact in OR

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 15 Apr 2019
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Image: The CoolSource cooling vests are intended to lower heat-related stress (Photo courtesy of Cardinal Health).
Image: The CoolSource cooling vests are intended to lower heat-related stress (Photo courtesy of Cardinal Health).
A disposable cooling device helps keep clinicians cool and comfortable in the operating room (OR) by reducing heat-related stress and distractions.

The Cardinal Health (Dublin, OH, USA) CoolSource cooling system is a lightweight, disposable, non-sterile vest that incorporates six cooling pack pockets intentionally placed for cooling dispersion. Symmetrically placed on the abdomen, back, and over the shoulders, the packs lower core body temperature and maximize cooling for over two hours, helping staff cope with heat stress during long, labor-intensive surgical procedures. Additional features include Velcro closures and a belt for adjustable fit. The vest is intended for wear underneath personal protective clothing (PPE).

“I've stood side-by-side with over-heated surgeons struggling every day to provide the best patient care possible. This sparked my pursuit to create an intuitive solution, a cooling vest, to help them stay focused,” said CoolSource cooling vest inventor Jill Byrne, MSN, RN, CNOR, and a PhD student at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU; Cleveland, OH, USA).”Beyond performance alone, it has been inspiring to witness the positive impact on OR civility due to improved comfort with the vest.”

“Cardinal Health is proud to partner with such an innovative OR nurse to bring a much-needed solution to OR clinicians,” said Emily Gallo, vice president of marketing for surgical products at Cardinal Health. “Through conversations with customers and advisory boards, Cardinal Health learned that heat in the OR is a wide-spread and largely unaddressed pain point. We are excited to now offer a practical solution that can have a positive impact on staff's well-being and performance.”

Heat is a painful topic of operative settings, caused by temperature and humidity requirements aimed at preventing patient hypothermia, and exacerbated by the need to wear several layers of PPE. The heat stress involved is known to affect cognition and induce a chronic stress response that can have long-term physiological effects as a result of the excessive heat.

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