A NURSE has developed the world’s first scale for weighing patients unable to walk which could save the lives of more emergency patients who have suffered a stroke or Sepsis.

Currently if a patient is immobile on arrival at hospital, NHS staff have to either guess their weight, ask a family member or use an ‘undignified’ hoist, which can also be strenuous for nurses.

With more drugs becoming weight-related, medics say it is essential to get an accurate dose to a patient and as soon as possible, particularly with stroke patients where there is a 30-minute target.

NHS Lanarkshire nurse Gillian Taylor had the idea of incorporating scales into a transfer board, used to get patients from a trolley to a bed, so they are being moved and weighed at the same time.

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Health leaders believe the device will have ‘huge benefit’ on outcomes for patients whose lives may be dependant on the speed drugs are given, such as those who have suffered a stroke or Sepsis.

More than 150 of the devices have now been ordered for hospitals across the UK, including the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. Hospitals and health centres in Australia, Germany, the United States of America and New Zealand, are now showing an interest in the Patient Transfer Scale.

Gillian, 43, who is from Motherwell, said: “If you come into hospital and you are immobile and can’t stand on a set of scales, right now the method we have to weight you is cumbersome and time consuming and undignified and can be exhausting for staff.

Glasgow Times:

“We either guess the weight or speak to a family member or we use a hoist weighing scale.

“If someone has a stroke caused by a blood clot they can sometimes require thrombolysis treatment and they need to get quickly.

“In order to bust that clot we need a very accurate weight.

“By the time you arrive at hospital, we have to have given that drug in 30 minutes in Scotland. You can imagine how long it takes to weigh a patient in a hoist.

“Basically medications are becoming more and more weight-related than ever before. This will also make a difference to Sepsis patients.

“There are also smaller adults out there, who are thin and malnourished and you can’t give them too much medication.

Glasgow Times:

“This moves you and weighs you at the same time. It’s just so simple but it took a nurse at the frontline to come up with it.

“My background is in A&E at Monklands and what frustrated me was children of ten and under, you were using the ‘age plus four times two’ in an emergency to get a calculation of their weight and it was never right.

“There are some children of nine who are the size of an adult. That really scared me and inspired me to do this, but it wasn’t until I was doing stroke improvement, that I couldn’t believe we were still weighing people in a hoist.

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“For certain drugs it is very important to have an accurate weight.”

Richard Black, Managing Director of Marsden, said: “This scale is the first of its type in the world and we believe it can change the way hospitals operate around the world.”

Graham Watson, Executive Chairman at Scottish Health Innovations Limited said: “By accelerating the speed at which time critical medications can be administered it offers significant benefit in the treatment of stroke, sepsis, pain management and other conditions whereby a standing weight measurement cannot be achieved.”