Getting patients dressed for success – #EndPJparalysis Getting patients dressed for success – #EndPJparalysis

SCIENCE
INTO LIFESTYLE

LIFESTYLE
INTO SCIENCE

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Getting patients dressed for success – #EndPJparalysis

An easy intervention that could protect hospital patients from harm, accelerate recovery and free up much-needed NHS bed space… and it’s as simple as an outfit change. Sounds too good to be true? That’s the thinking behind the #EndPJparalysis campaign, which aims to get inpatients out of their nightwear, up from bed, and on the road to recovery.

Staying in bed might seem like a sensible way regain your strength after a procedure, but too much rest can actually end up causing problems of its own. In fact, one study of older people found that just a few days of immobility can cause rapid declines in important physical factors like muscle strength and aerobic capacity.1

What’s more, being stuck in bed can leave patients feeling powerless, low on confidence and very dependent on their carers – making it even harder to get back to everyday life.2

Getting these patients back into their regular clothes is a really simple way to overcome the so-called “PJ paralysis” – encouraging them to get up out of bed, spend their time moving around the ward and helping them feel more normal.3

The #EndPJparalysis campaign began on Twitter back in 2016, but the focus has steadily grown, and it’s been proven to make a difference in practice. A trial run in one orthopaedic unit cut falls and injuries, and even helped patients get home sooner.3

The initiative has now been backed by Professor Jane Cummings, the country’s top nurse. It’s being promoted nationwide with the help of an app to track progress around the country as the campaigners push for 1,000,000 patient days spent up and about in time for the 70th anniversary of the NHS on the 5th July.

So while it might seem simple, just getting patients dressed can be a crucial step to help them get back on their feet, get moving, and get back home.

  1. Kortebein P et al. J Gerontol Med Sci 2008; 63(10): 1076-81.
  2. Oliver D. Brit Med J 2017; 357: j2096.
  3. #EndPJparalysis: Everything you need to know to take part. http://www.endpjparalysis.com/resources1 Accessed April 2018.
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