A close call for Jill Drews father-in-law when he was in the hospital led her to create a simple accessory that protects patients arteriovenous fistulas.
Mike Drew, who has a fistula for dialysis, was in the hospital for an unrelated infection about 14 months ago, and the staff kept trying to use his arm that has a fistula for treatment. At one point, a nurse yells, No, no, not that arm, Jill Drew, RN, said.
Thats when she got the idea for the No No Sleeve, she said.
The red, forearm-length sleeve provides a physical barrier as well as a written reminder of No BPs, No IVs to warn healthcare professionals not to use that arm, said Drew, a nurse at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. It makes healthcare professionals think twice before removing it to use the patients arm, she added.
Drew had noticed flaws in other methods that hospitals had to communicate that the patient has a fistula. Signs above the patients bed would be ineffective if the patient was moved to another room, for example.
Anesthesia also would render patients unable to warn hospital staff not to use a certain arm, she noted.
The No No Sleeve stays on the patients arm and relieves patient anxiety that the fistula could be damaged, which could delay or prevent life-saving dialysis treatments.
If they are hospitalized, its one less thing to worry about, she said.
Maureen Strausbaugh wished her mother had a No No Sleeve when she went into a hospital for a 30-minute gall bladder procedure and wound up in intensive care for three days.
Strausbaugh said her mother, 78-year-old Joan Hill, was under anesthesia and couldnt warn the staff not to use her arm where she has a fistula. Strausbaugh said she believes someone put pressure on her mothers arm, and the fistula became clogged.
Had she had the sleeve, I dont think that would have happened, said Strausbaugh, of Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Strausbaugh saw the No No Sleeve at her mothers dialysis center and bought one to prevent future damage to her mothers fistula.
Its a wonderful invention and a wonderful idea, she said.
Drew said she has sold about 200 No No Sleeves, which cost $8.99 for individuals or $6.99 for institutions.
The No No Sleeve also could be used by mastectomy patients who have to protect their arms after they have had lymph nodes removed, Drew said.
For information on the No No Sleeve, visit nonosleeve.com.
Karen Long is a freelance writer.