Nurses at a clinic in Wales have invented a disposable paper bra, named the Digni Bra, for women undergoing surgery.
Trimmed with a thin strip of elastic to keep it in place, the Digni Bra has a roomy, relaxed fit. If an emergency occurs on the operating table, the bra can be quickly removed, allowing for easy access to the heart. Though the look of the bra is simple, its creation proved challenging according to one of its designers, Natalie Reid. Speaking from the Vale Healthcare Hospital in Cardiff, she explained that she and fellow nurse Fiona Cartwright had to “consider many different aspects of surgery” when creating the bra, as it “had to be cost effective, non-transparent, easily removable, hygienic and minimalistic so that it limits any interference with cardiac monitoring equipment and operation sites.”
Instead of a traditional metal clasp, the Digni Bra ties in back, allowing it to be worn by women of all shapes and sizes. The opaque paper used for the bra also offers solid coverage, unlike the semi-transparent white paper often used for disposable hospital knickers. Reid and Cartwright also opted to keep the bra strapless to avoid interference with medical equipment and allow for its use during head, neck and shoulder surgery.
Before the bra made its debut, it was approved for safety, with Reid explaining that “we had to consult with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency about our product before we could introduce it into the medical setting. We received confirmation in writing from the MHRA regarding the standards required for our product, and also that it was outside the scope of PPE and Medical Device Directives.”
Response to the Digni Bra has been “overwhelmingly positive” according to Reid, with patients crediting it for preserving their modesty and making for a more pleasant hospital stay. In the future, Reid and Cartwright hope to see the bra used at medical facilities throughout the UK.