Friday, October 12, 2012

New Medical Innovation: Socks

Unmatching socks are an instant indication of comedic talent.

In a world of genetically personalized pharmaceuticals and nano-robots running through the bloodstream, one medical innovation can save tens of thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries. The best part - unlike the futuristic technology that boggles our minds - it costs only a handful of dollars.

Socks. Or more precise, colored treaded socks.

Beth Israel Hospital in Massachusetts was able to decrease their in-hospital injuries caused by falling patients by 90 percent just by having their patients wear slipper socks that had treads on both sides.

In three Kaiser long-term care facilities in California, they were able to reduce injuries significantly by having patients who were prone to falling wear red socks and patients who had a tendency to forget where they were wear yellow socks. The nurses would spend a little extra time helping the patients that had the special colored socks.

Another study (though I can't find it at the moment) had patients wear different colored socks at a long term care facility for each day of the week. When the resident received their daily service and medicines, the nurse aide changed their socks for the day accordingly. The nurses would know who had and who had not been attended to just by looking at their feet.

Each hospital can use an array of garments, colors, and styles to create their own system which alerts them to the needs of the different patients. The additional cost of doing this is almost negligible, whereas the benefits are astounding.

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