Chemotherapy in a backpack, Denmark

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Case Study Submitted by: Katrine Fridthjof, Nurse and Project Manager and Head of the Clinic,
Nurse Pernille Welinder, Department for Haematology, University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nurses' innovation and courage make a difference for patients, especially when patients are involved from the beginning and during the process.

In Denmark, leukemia patients are hospitalized for 60-70 days of treatment, including 30 days of intravenous chemotherapy. Having chemotherapy in the hospital, rather than at home, means patients are away from their families and their everyday lives. Patients are less active, eat less and do not sleep as well. In addition, the hospital environment is a breeding ground for infection.

Katrine Fridthjof, an innovative nurse, supported by the manegement of her clinic, had the courage and idea of implementing a better quality of treatment for these seriously ill patients. She invented backpack for a cordless infusion pump which allows patients to be more mobile whilst receiving the treatment they need.

Fridthjof’s prize winning idea has now spread to the rest of the country and is being used for other groups of patients, such as those with heart disease. When some of the patients said they found the backpsack oldfashioned, Fridthjof contacted the Copenhagen Design School who are now producing a smarter, more fashionable design.

This innovation has involved patients throughout the process and led to better and quicker recovery.

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