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A Marsden White Paper - Weighing Up the Risks

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In 2016, Marsden began working alongside Registered General Nurse Gillian Taylor to bring the idea of the Patient Transfer Scale to life. The device hit the market in 2018 and has since proved incredibly popular in hospitals around the world and has won a Queens Award for Innovation.

Now that the Patient Transfer Scale is available for purchase, we have set our sites on a broader challenge, impacting change within the healthcare system. We want to ensure that accurate weights can be obtained for all patients, ensuring safer outcomes for all.

Why is this needed?

As you may know, measuring and recording accurate patient body weight plays a fundamental role in hospital-based care. It is a vital tool in monitoring fluid balance, calculating medication dosages, nutritional treatment and gauging whether specialist equipment such as profiling beds may be needed. It is also a key measure of a patient’s overall health and wellbeing.

NICE (2006) Guidelines state that each patient should have their weight measured on admission, and weekly thereafter. However, research has shown that just 6% of hospitals screen 75-100% of patients for weight and only 49% record patients’ weights across all wards.

What are the current practices for obtaining patient weight?

Physical weighing can sometimes prove difficult due to ward pressures, lack of suitable equipment and patient presentation. Weight measurement can also be perceived as a routine task, and therefore allocated to staff without appropriate training or experience.

As a result of all of these factors, estimating weight has become common practice amongst clinicians.

What are the risks?

The risks associated with estimating a patient’s weight are significant. It can adversely impact patient outcomes, resulting in the requirement for more complex care interventions, and in worse case scenarios can prove fatal.

Inconsistencies in recording patient body weight, as well as using inaccurate or inappropriate weighing equipment, can have a negative impact on patient care. This can increase the risk of errors in diagnosis, interventions, treatment or medication dosages.

What Marsden have done?

For us here at Marsden, this issue is greater than selling weighing devices. This is about impacting change and ensuring that better outcomes are obtained for all patients. In order to achieve this, there has to be change within healthcare industry. No longer should clinicians guess the weight of patients whether it is for nutritional scoring, general diagnosis/monitoring or for medication dosages.

For this reason, we have created a White Paper titled, ‘Weighing Up the Risks’. In this body of work, we break down where weight estimation happens, the risks of inaccurate weights and how the risks can be addressed.

The aim of this document is to share the impact of gaining accurate weights and bring focus to the potentially fatal consequences of an inaccurate weight. For this reason, we would like you to share this with all of your colleagues, management teams and improvement services.

Download our 'Weighing Up The Risks - White Paper' by clicking here.

Discover our range of medical weighing scales here.