If you have recently visited the cardiac unit of a hospital, you have likely seen teddy bears sitting beside patients on their bed and walking hand in hand with surgeons. Many hospitals have rooms full of teddy bears for patients that get cardiac operations, such as open heart surgery.
The patients are given these teddy bears as a part of their recovery process. These bears are extremely firm and relatively heavy, serving a very important purpose. The bears are used as a chest brace for the patients.
After an operation, cardiac patients struggle with severe pain from their stitches. When patients need to cough, sneeze, or laugh, they hug the bear against their chest. Patients struggle after surgery to open the air sacs at the bottom of their lungs which causes frequent and painful coughing spells. Pressing the teddy bear against their chest eases the pain and holds the stitches in place. Patients keep the bear at their side throughout their hospital stay and the bear eventually goes home with the patient, serving as a keepsake for the patient.
The bears do not shed which ensures the cleanliness of the stitches. The bears are also a full-sized teddy bear which allows patients the ability to easily grab a hold of it and find it. It can easily be found when a patient is lying in bed. If the bear falls out of bed, it can be easily grabbed by an arm or a leg. Many hospitals used to use towels or pillows as a brace which were not as effective and not as cute!
These bears also become a companion for the patients. After a week or so in the hospital, patients get lonely, itching to go home to their family. These bears provide some company for patients, but most importantly, help them heal appropriately and comfortably. If someone you know just had a major operation, consider getting their cardiac bear a friend from The Zoo Factory.