IV hoodie keeps pediatric patients cozy during infusions
For many years, Upstate nurse Kathleen Root has been part of Improve Care Now, a national organization dedicated to improving care for children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. On the group’s website last year, she spotted an intriguing new product.
A girl in Connecticut named Ella who needed infusions envisioned a sweatshirt with zippers in the arms so that kids could stay comfortable and warm during treatment. With her mother’s help, Ella developed IV hoodies — long-sleeved, hooded sweatshirts with a zipper up the front and zippers stretching the length of each arm. The arm zippers have two pulls, allowing medical providers to access the patient’s arms to check blood pressure and to insert an IV and then zip it closed around the line.
“I wanted to make a sweatshirt for kids getting IV infusions that is comfortable, motivational and, most of all, does not look like a hospital gown or medical wear,” Ella says on the website, ivhoodies.com
Root knew the hoodies would be a hit with her patients. She works in the Karjoo Family Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology at Upstate, which treats about 200 inﬂammatory bowel disease patients, with 100 receiving regular infusions at the Upstate Cancer Center. Those infusions can last one to ﬁve hours, depending on the treatment, Root says.
She and nurse Lisa Susko obtained a $6,000 grant from the Upstate Foundation to purchase IV hoodies in a variety of sizes, so they can give them to patients as they come for infusions. The hoodies are gray, with an Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital logo.
“I’m passionate about these kids, many of whom are diagnosed at a young age,” Root says. “Some of them have to spend a full day at the infusion center once a month. I want our patients to know that people care about what they are going through, and this is a small token of our acknowledgment.
“I have a soft spot for these kids. Crohn’s is a big disease that they’re going to have for the rest of their life.”