Hydrate for Health
In December 2005 I had a fairly serious back operation. Immediately after the operation I was immobile for a couple of days, followed by a short period of limited movement. During this time I was mostly bed bound and stationary in hospital; one of the main problems I had was getting enough to drink. Not due to a lack of water, far from it, but the jug and cup were on a cabinet next to the bed, and since I could not move I was unable to get a drink unless I called for a nurse. This, of course, meant that I was in some danger of becoming dehydrated. Having lived and worked in tropical and desert locations I am very aware of the dangers of dehydration.
The problem was solved by having my girlfriend bring a drinking bladder system to my room and hanging it off the back of the bed. The tube from the system that allows hands free drinking was accessible at any time day or night by reaching above my head and placing the bite valve into my mouth and sucking. This meant I was able to drink at any time I wanted to and I have absolutely no doubt that my recovery was not only a day or so faster because I was fully hydrated but I had none of the side effects, such as constipation, that often occur after operations because I was fully hydrated at all times.
At the time my surgeon and the nurses thought the idea was brilliant and as a result I decided to research the possibilities for it as a viable product.
Mark Moran, Managing Director, Hydrate for Health
Dehydration is probably the biggest single issue in healthcare; one of the main causes is the lack of easy access to fluids for people with limited mobility. Those recovering or receiving care in hospital, a hospice or at home who are unable to reach, lift, or hold drinks without help are at risk of dehydration.
The Hydrant refillable water bottle solves the problem for healthcare staff, carers and patients, simply by closing the gap between the drinker and the drink. For patients, it delivers independence and dignity for those who would otherwise struggle to stay hydrated. It allows carers to accurately measure fluid intake and frees up more time for them to care for patients in other ways.
Why is it clever?
The system comprises a 1 litre water bottle, a patented cap with an integrated handle/hanging bracket, and a delivery tube with a bite valve. The bottle is hung from the bed and the user simply reaches up to get hold of the tube, inserts the bite valve between their lips then bites and sucks. The bite valve opens under pressure and closes when released so there is no leakage.
It also attaches to chairs, wheelchairs, bikes, pushchairs, drip stands…virtually anywhere, solving a massive issue in a low-cost way.
- Enables users to drink unassisted whenever they want rather than having to wait for the drinks trolley or call for help
- Gives the users a physical action they can take to assist in their own recovery whilst improving their independence
- Effective hydration can reduce the length of stay in hospital
- The product design is very simple and easy to use; the user controls their level of intake simple by sucking until they have taken sufficient fluid. The mouthpiece has a non-return valve so there is no danger of spillage
- As the system is portable, it can be taken with the patient
- The bottle's large capacity means that it requires fewer refils than a jug, therefore saves time
- The bottles are marked in 100ml gradation making fluid intake monitoring more simple and accuate
- The system is unlikely to cause any spillage
- Less likely to attract airborne contaminants a cup
- Ultrasound scans require a full bladder, this product offers a way of ensuring a specific amount of water is drunk
- In a small study (44), most clinical staff found the Hydrant easy to assemble and use, and felt it was an effective device for patients, reducing their time in hospital and enabling more effective fluid balance monitoring 
- Fluid balance chart recording improved after the Hydrant had been introduced 
- Qualitative data from a trial of 47 patients and 26 staff suggests that the Hydrant is a useful and indeed transformative device for some patients; over 50% of patients and staff who used the device agreed with questionnaire statements that asked if they found it helpful 
- An evaluation of the hydrate in 6 wards showed that 81% of patients thought the Hydrant system was easy to use, 83% that the Hydrant System helped them to maintain their independence, and that 75% considered using the it at home 
- In the same evaluation, 95% of staff felt that there were patients who benefited from using the Hydrant, 72% felt that the system saved time helping patients to drink or replenish their water jugs, 95% felt confident in using the product and thought it was easy to clean, and 92% of staff reported that there was no evidence of spillages 
It has hugely improved the quality of life for our patients and as such The Hydrant should be a standard part of any hospital's armour in the battle against dehydration
Liz Evans, Nutrition Nurse Specialist, Stoke Mandeville Hospital
The Hydrant……cheap, easy to implement, tackling the most basic problem. Potentially one of the ideas with the highest return to investment ratio I have ever seen
Jim Easton, NHS National Director for Improvement and Efficiency, in a Keynote speech at the Healthcare Innovation Expo
I've been in trauma nursing for 20 years and this is one of the best ideas I've ever seen.
Squadron Leader Ian Slaughter, Officer Commanding - Nursing, Headley Court, The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre
Awesome product. I was in hospital for a spinal operation and really struggled to get a drink until I was given a Hydrant. It is simply brilliant. What a great solution to a massive problem in the health system. They should be on every hospital bed!! Good luck.
Just a quick testimonial from me: I have just spent the last 4 weeks in hospital, 3 weeks of which were complete bed rest on my back with a collar on. I came of my bicycle and have c2 and c3 spinal fracture. Luckily the ward I was on was trialing the Hydrant. It was an absolute saviour, there is no way I would have stayed anywhere near hydrated without it. Staffing levels were not adequate to enable me to feed with a cup and straw at will. I've very thankful for the nurse who gave me the Hydrant, and for you who made it!
The hydrant was an essential part of my being able to drink more in that it allowed me to drink whenever I wanted without having to ask someone else to help. Using this regime I have not had a urinary tract infection for about a year and half, before that I was getting them every few weeks! My specialist is delighted!
There is growing evidence that the Hydrant, while not suitable for all patients, can be an effective part of a hydration regimen.
Published Reports: http://www.hydrateforhealth.co.uk/about-us/report/
In the news: http://www.hydrateforhealth.co.uk/about-us/news/