Unique, practical knowledge for nurses responsible for daily management of patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related conditions.

New ‘Smart mug’ combats dehydration

New ‘Smart mug’ combats dehydration

Publication date: Wednesday, 04 April 2018
Contributor(s): Jeremy Bray

An innovative new hydration system has been introduced to help carers reduce the risk of dehydration in care homes and hospitals. The Droplet® system was created by product designer Ellie van Leeuwen after her grandmother left hospital severely dehydrated. Initial trials from December 2017 in 4 wards at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton showed a 63% average increase in fluid intake (474 ml/day) with excellent feedback from care workers.

Commenting on the launch, Ellie said: “I wanted to create a product that made it easier for patients to self-hydrate, but also supported healthcare professionals in spotting the signs of dehydration. I’m so proud of the final result and it’s wonderful to now see patients and carers benefiting so greatly from it – the feedback we’ve had from both healthcare professionals and patients has been phenomenal.”

The Droplet® modular system includes:

  • A light and sound reminder base
  • A mug or tumbler
  • A flow control lid. 

The base attaches to either the Droplet® Mug or Tumbler and can be customised to suit the environment and needs of the user. Recorded messages and visual prompts can be used to remind users to drink. In addition, a night light glows to help carers and users easily identify the cup at night.

Other key design features include:

  • Scratch, shatter, odour and stain resistant material suitable for a dishwasher.
  • Stable design allowing people with weak or swollen hands to easily grip the handle or body of the mug with one or both hands.
  • Measuring lines (100 and 200ml) to help carers record fluid levels and make thickened drinks.
  • The detachable lid provides dignified support to those who suffer from tremors or swallowing problems and has a hole for either a Pat Saunders straw or a regular straw.

Facilities Manager at Musgrove Park Hospital, Philip Shelley said: “Droplet supports the crucial element of hydration for healthcare professionals to monitor, manage and improve patients’ fluid intake. This is why we are introducing Droplet in every ward.”

Dehydration is a silent killer

  • 500 death certificates a year mention dehydration¹
  • 10,000 deaths a year result from falls² “We regularly see dehydration as a contributory factor in our elderly patients”³
  • 100,000 deaths a year in hospital are associated with Acute Kidney Injury.³ “Severe dehydration is a risk factor in AKI – stay hydrated”⁴
  • The Royal Society of Medicine – ‘Patients dehydrated on admission to hospital have a significantly increased risk of in-hospital mortality.’⁵

1. Health Analysis and Life Events Division, Office for National Statistics 2016;
2. NHS West Suffolk. Dehydration can lead to a fall. June 14 2017;
3. UK Renal Registry’s NHS programmes 2018;
4. NHS UK ‘Better Kidney Care could save thousands of lives’, August 28 2013;
5. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 16 January 2015.

More information

Find further information on Droplet® at https://www.droplet-hydration.com/

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Category: Have You Heard
Edition: Volume 3, Number 4, BJPCN Online 2018
Contributor(s): Jeremy Bray

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