Ditching hospital PJs ‘leads to speedy recovery’

18 April 2017

Keeping active and dressing in everyday clothes can help speed up recovery while in the hospital, experts claim.

Spending time sat in bed while wearing hospital attire, think unflattering gowns and baggy pyjamas, probably make patients feel under the weather no matter how minor their health issue is.

But, according to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), this feeling of helplessness can be banished quicker if people change into their own clothes as soon as they feel able to move properly, and a walk around the ward can also make the world of difference. By getting into a regular routine of moving about even while still in the hospital, patients’ confidence will get a boost and they’ll be more ready to return home than they would if they simply sat in bed until their discharge date.

On top of this, being bedridden can cause pressure sores and mobility issues, all of which can prolong recovery, and staying put for longer can withhold much-needed space for newer arrivals.

Doctors note 10 days of bed rest in hospital for elderly patients can add up to a shocking 10 years of muscle ageing, and it could make simple tasks such as using the toilet unaided and walking short distances more difficult.

Read more: Scarred for life: my mom’s hell in state hospital after breast surgery

Dubbed ‘endPJparalysis’ on social media, the idea of dressing in your own clothes was suggested by nurses in Nottingham, England, and has won support from executives already.

“PJ Paralysis is a really simple idea, but it has a big benefit for patients,” Anne-Marie Riley, deputy chief nurse at Nottingham University Hospital’s NHS Trust, said. “We know that if patients stay in their pyjamas or gowns for longer than they need to, they have a higher risk of infection, lose mobility and stay in the hospital longer.

“But if we can help patients get back to their normal routine as quickly as possible, including getting dressed, we can support a quicker recovery, help patients maintain their independence and help get them home sooner.”

Lack of bed space led to almost 300,000 patients across England waiting in A&E for treatment this January and current figures show 7,000 NHS patients are unable to leave the hospital because their social cares cannot be fulfilled, despite them being well enough to leave.

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