PJ party to kick paralysis

Staff from Blacktown Hospital’s aged care and rehab teams looked very cosy in their pyjamas.

A pyjama party has kicked off a major campaign at Blacktown Hospital to get patients out of bed, dressed and moving to fast track their recovery.

Called ‘End PJ Paralysis’, the worldwide health campaign aims to get patients out of their pyjamas in and into day clothes. 

Acute stroke and rehabilitation ward nursing unit manager Maria Maniago said staff and hospital executives wore pyjamas to show how vulnerable patients can feel out of day clothes.

“It’s a common misconception that when you’re in hospital, you should be in pyjamas, but being in bed, in pyjamas or gowns day and night can affect people’s independence and recovery,” Maria said. 

“Where patients are able and willing, staff will work with them and their carers to get them up, dressed and moving.

“Having patients in their day clothes whilst in hospital, rather than in pyjamas or gowns, enhances dignity, autonomy and, in many instances, shortens their length of stay.” 

For patients over the age of 80, a week in bed can lead to 10 years of muscle ageing, 1.5 kg of muscle loss, and may lead to increased dependency and demotivation.

Getting patients up and moving has been shown to reduce falls, improve patient experience and reduce length of stay by up to one-and-a-half days.

The aged care, stroke and rehabilitation wards on level 5 of Blacktown Hospital will pilot the project ahead of a whole-of-hospital roll-out later in the year.

Blacktown Hospital nurses
Acute Stroke and Rehabilitation nursing unit manager Maria Maniago with acting deputy director of nursing Ces Aguilar in her best-dressed unicorn pyjamas.

As part of the campaign roll-out, wards are taking part in a 1000 patients in 100 Days challenge.

“We are very proud to initiate the campaign here in Blacktown and to be the first area to pilot the project,” Maria said. 

“In the first week, we had 112 patients participate so we’re confident it will have a huge impact on patients’ well-being and recovery.”

Maria said the afternoon tea was a fun way to draw attention to the new initiative.

“We had an amazing response from staff who really embraced the campaign,” Maria said.

“Thanks to everyone who contributed to the afternoon tea and went to the effort of wearing pyjamas.

“Our first prize for best dressed went to Ces Aguilar’s unicorn onesie, but there were a number of special mentions including Brett Gardiner’s grandad bathrobe, Luke Elias’ brown bear PJ pants, and Darryl Peterson’s Batman matching set.” 

For more information, contact Maria Maniago, Nursing Unit Manager C52  Acute Stroke & Rehabilitation Maria.Maniago@health.nsw.gov.au