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Nurses sew special pillows for open-heart surgery patients

Katie S., a registered nurse with Salem Hospital’s cardiovascular care unit, is part of a group of nurses, family and friends who sew heart-shaped pillows for patients recovering from open-heart surgery. The pillows help patients avoid putting stress on their healing sternums — sometimes for months after surgery.

“They have to use the heart pillow to splint their broken bone,” says Katie.

The hospital sometimes has three open-heart surgeries a day, which can cause periodic pillow shortages. That’s why hospital staffers decided to help.

Community members can help, too. If you’re interested in sewing heart pillows and would like a copy of the pattern, call Salem Health volunteer services at 503-814-1792.

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