The Royal Melbourne Hospital Intensive Care Unit nurse Jack Wilson with plastic bags packaged with clothes donated by the families of patients who have died, which will be given to other RMH patients.
21 July 2022
News Category: 
Patient and health stories

Losing a loved one is an incredibly sad time, but some families whose loved ones have died in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are choosing to give back in a way that is helping other patients get home faster, and with dignity. 

Families are donating their loved one’s clothes, which are being given to patients being discharged whose own clothes may have been damaged or soiled when they arrived due to their illness or medical treatment.

“Having a loved one in ICU is a time when families are stressed with so many things on their mind,” said ICU Clinical Nurse Consultant Jack Wilson, who is leading the project.

“They often rush out to buy all the things they think a necessary for a patient in ICU, including lots of clothes, but unfortunately sometimes patients pass away.

“So we’ve offered to the family to donate those clothes, as opposed to throwing them away to landfill, which they have been very keen to do. It’s one less burden for them – to think about what to do with these belongings – and it is also a very small positive they can get out of a very sad situation.”

The ICU now has a stockpile of clothes that is being replenished by these donations. Some clothes were also sent to the RMH Emergency Department for their patients.

The ICU are only accepting new clothes and only from patients that don’t have communicable disease.

The clothes are packaged into plastic bags, with an array of clothing and sizes to suit patients’ needs.

“It’s nice to be able to give the discharged patients something so they are suitably dressed, and they are comfortable and safe,” said Jack, adding it was particularly important during winter.

The RMH is not able to accept donations of clothes from the public at this time.

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For more information about this story, contact Communications on (03) 9342 7000 or email mh-communications@mh.org.au