End Pyjamas Paralysis Campaign at St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny

Shorter lengths of stay in hospital when patients get up, get dressed and get moving

Sean Keane

Reporter:

Sean Keane

Email:

sean.keane@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny hospital staff in their pyjamas

Staff at St Luke's hospital, Kilkenny in their pyjamas for the launch of End PJ Paralysis

St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny has launched its ‘End PJ Paralysis’ campaign to encourage people to get up and get dressed each day.

Research has shown that most people feel better in their own clothes and, statistically, have shorter lengths of stay in hospital when they get up, get dressed and get moving as soon as possible. Research also shows that patients who stay in their pyjamas or gowns longer than they need are likely to lose mobility, fitness and muscle strength, making it harder for them to regain independence. Getting dressed is something that we do every day, but for hospital patients, it can mean the difference between going home to live independently or with support.

“This is important because a person aged over 80 can lose 10 per cent of their muscle mass after just 10 days in a hospital bed,” said Danielle Reddy, Occupational Therapist at St Luke’s who is leading the campaign. “They can also develop skin breakdown, pressure sores, confusion and fatigue. Many patients lose the ability to carry out routine functions like bathing, dressing, getting out of bed and walking due to unnecessary bed rest. There is extensive evidence that dressing patients in their own clothes is more dignifying, provides a sense of normality and allows them to be more independent while in hospital.”To launch the campaign, staff at St Luke’s were encouraged to wear their pyjamas to work on the 17th April – to give patients, families and carers a view of how it looks, and to show staff how patients feel when they wear their pyjamas all day.

Staff in all wards throughout the hospital are working with patients each day to encourage them to get up and get dressed in their own clothes. Patients are asked to bring their day clothes with them when they are being admitted to the hospital, along with shoes and not slippers.