Campaign to End PJ Paralysis launched at Calvary Mater Newcastle

Calvary Mater Newcastle staff came to work today in their pyjamas as part of the launch of the hospital’s #endPJparalysis campaign that encourages patients who are medically able to ‘get up, get dressed and get moving’ while in hospital.

Staff have swapped their uniforms and work clothes for pyjamas to gain an understanding of how vulnerable and uncomfortable a patient can feel being in their nightwear and to highlight the benefits of patients getting dressed as soon as possible.

Research has shown that by supporting patients to wear their day clothes while in hospital can help aid their recovery and get them home and back to independence as soon as possible. Early mobilisation also improves a patient’s overall mental, physical and psychological health.

The #endPJparalysis campaign highlights how bed rest can seriously damage the health and independence of the elderly. Ten days of bed-rest in a hospital, can age the muscles in people over 80-years old by 10 years and result in 10 per cent muscle loss. Re-conditioning takes twice as long as de-conditioning and this loss of muscle may make the difference between dependence and independence or the difference between going home and going to a home. Bedbound patients can also develop skin breakdown, pressure sores, confusion and fatigue.

Roz Everingham, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Calvary Mater Newcastle, says, “Traditionally, when patients arrive at hospital, they would stay in their pyjamas or hospital gown until they are discharged. While sometimes it is necessary to wear pyjamas for a certain period of time, it is a common misconception that this is always best for recovery. For many patients wearing pyjamas reinforces feeling unwell and can lead to unintentional harm. 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.”

Roz adds, “Understandably, there are certain patients who will be unable to get dressed during the day, those with surgical wounds, undergoing a procedure, those for whom getting dressed would be uncomfortable, etc. However, for those patients who can get out of bed, our staff will help and support them to do so.”

The #endPJparalysis campaign is an international campaign founded by Professor Brian Dolan.