The anti-nausea pillow provides head stabilization to reduce nausea in patients using analgesia. Analgesia contributes to a mismatch in the ocular- vestibular reflex; when the head moves the eyes lag behind and this causes nausea. By slowing down head movement, without preventing it, head eye lag is minimized and the occurrence of nausea reduced. The proposed pillow would be "C" shaped; leaving the area at the throat open for comfort, hygiene and to allow for medical equipment such as a tracheotomy tube. It would have a waterproof coating; like hospital pillows and a removable case for wash-ability. It would be made of a memory foam so that the patient can both lie down and perform exercises with minimal restriction and maximum comfort. The inserting a cooling gel back may be a further option for some patients.
Nausea is the leading complaint in patients that use patient controlled analgesia (PCA) and is a know side effect of opioids. Many patients do not want to take other medications to alleviate this side effect. As nursing students we are expected to think of alternative methods to create patient comfort and this idea in non- invasive, has ease of use, is practical and a low cost solution to a common and significant problem. Nausea is not only an uncomfortable sensation but it can prolong hospital stays, increasing cost of care and can lead to vomiting which further impedes recovery.
I would like to create a prototype by 6 months. I would like to complete a pilot study with post-operative patients using PCA within 2 years including analysis and alterations to prototype. Within 5 years I would like to see this product readily available to all patients as an alternative to nausea related to analgesia; I would like to see it used over a regular pillow.