Local Hospital Patients Encouraged to End PJ Paralysis

RED DEER – Some patients at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre are swapping their hospital gowns for their own clothes as part of a new initiative, End PJ Paralysis, aimed at helping speed recovery.

PJ paralysis is a term to describe the negative physical and psychological effects experienced by patients who spend lengthy periods of time inactive and in their pyjamas or gowns while in hospital. These patients can have a higher risk of infection, and lose mobility, fitness and muscle strength.

End PJ Paralysis is a voluntary initiative encouraging patients to get up, get dressed and get moving, while their family and friends support them by bringing in comfortable clothes for their loved ones to wear while in hospital.

“We are seeing people moving more, and we know that helps them feel happier and healthier,” said Sheila Hill, Clinical Resource Nurse, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

The program started as a pilot on two units on Jan. 15, and is now being evaluated to determine if it will be expanded to other areas of the hospital.

“International research shows that when patients get back to their normal routine by moving more, they can recover more quickly and go home sooner,” said Carmen Petersen, Director of Emergency & Inpatient Medicine Services at the hospital.

End PJ Paralysis originated in the U.K. and is currently implemented in some AHS facilities in the Edmonton and Calgary zones.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.