Ending pyjama paralysis

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Doctors, nurses and allied health teams at the Royal Adelaide Hospital will turn up to work in their pyjamas today to mark the expansion of a program to ‘End PJ Paralysis’.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network Clinical Practice Director, Madeleine Baillie, said the campaign encourages patients to ‘Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Moving’ and will be rolled out to two general wards, after the successful introduction to two surgical wards in 2018.

“We want to encourage patients, who are well enough, to get out of bed and get moving, and getting dressed is often the first step,” Ms Baillie said.

“The sooner patients can get moving the better, preventing deconditioning, and helping to speed up recovery and minimise harm caused by prolonged immobility.

“This unique initiative is also about partnering with our patients and their families to set future goals for their care and recovery, in a respectful and dignified way.”

‘End PJ Paralysis’ is a global movement started by CALHN critical friend, Professor Brian Dolan in the United Kingdom and has been embraced by hospitals around the world.

A study into the first phase of the pilot program at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), found it was able to reduce patient length of stay, increase patient mobility, and improve the amount of patients who sat out of bed for their meals and got dressed into their day clothes.

The promising results follows research which shows long periods spent in a hospital bed can be a major factor in a patient’s decline in muscle strength, muscle mass and physical and cognitive function which can result in increased time in hospital.

RAH Physiotherapist, Amanda Kenyon, said this can have a life changing impact on patients.

“Just one week of hospital inactivity can result in 1.5kgs in muscle loss, a 20 per cent drop in quad power and a 10 per cent drop in aerobic capacity,” Ms Kenyon said.

“For someone of such an advanced age, that could be the difference between going home and going into an assisted care facility.

“The faster we can get people out of their pyjamas and back into their normal every day habits, the faster they can get out of hospital and recover in the comfort of their own home.”