Hospital moves to ‘end pj paralysis’

Patients who need to stay in hospital are encouraged to ditch their pyjamas or hospital gown and wear everyday clothes to get better quicker.

#End PJ Paralysis is a state-wide project by Safer Care Victoria that aims to prevent functional decline in hospital patients by encouraging them to ‘Get Up. Get Dressed and Get Moving.

Depending on a person’s age, more than ten days of bed rest could cause significant muscle loss. For older patients that could mean the difference between going home and going to a residential aged care facility.

West Gippsland Healthcare Group Occupational Therapist, Kerrie Armstrong, said traditionally, when patients arrive at hospital, they would stay in their pyjamas or hospital gown until discharged.

“While sometimes it’s necessary to wear pyjamas for a certain period of time, it’s a common misconception that this is best for recovery. For many patients wearing pyjamas reinforces feeling unwell and can lead to unintentional complications. By supporting our patients to ‘Get Up. Get Dressed and Get Moving’, we hope we can promote a speedier recovery allowing them to get back to the people and places they love as soon as possible.”

Ms Armstrong said some of the risks of remaining in bed also include being at higher risk of developing chest infections, blood clots, pressure sores, low mood, low bone density, as well as worsening digestion.

Patient Beverley Miller of Jindivick recently spent time in the Medical Unit at West Gippsland Hospital after injuring her shoulder

“Getting up and dressing in everyday clothes during my hospital stay gave me a feeling of independence and contributed to a positive mindset to get myself up, walking and ready to go home.”

Ms Armstrong said the message is that if you need to come into hospital for a stay remember to pack your everyday clothes and toiletries as well as your pyjamas.

For more on the End PJ Paralysis campaign go to:

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