Trust introduces wristbands for COPD patients

It reduces the risk of type two respiratory failure.

Ian Snug
24 January 2020
oxygen wristband

The wristbands let healthcare professionals know how much oxygen to administer.

A health trust in Kent is believed to be the first in the country to be pioneering a simple but effective wristband, for patients with conditions such as Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) is trialing the wristbands with patients at risk of type two respiratory failure.

The project involves patients being given a coloured wristband, which tells health professionals how much oxygen they need, should they become unwell.

With the bands corresponding to those used in hospitals, the ambulance service and accident and emergency staff are able to initiate the appropriate level of oxygen for the patient. It also reduces the risk of giving too much oxygen in an emergency situation.

Reducing hospital admissions.

For some respiratory patients, too much oxygen can lead to type two respiratory failure where high levels of carbon dioxide can have serious health complications and in extreme cases can lead to death if left untreated.

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Sheilagh McCrossan, the Professional Lead for KCHFT, said: “The results so far are very promising and do seem to indicate that the project has reduced admissions to hospital with type two respiratory failure, and is reducing the length of stay for patients being admitted with a flare up of their COPD.”

The oxygen wristbands pilot is a quality improvement project at KCHFT, where the trust is looking at what it does and how it can do things better.

Previously, respiratory patients at the trust were given small alerts card that often got lost or forgotten about.

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