Hospitals Use New Methods to Soothe Little Patients

by Colette Moran

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal revealed some of the new ways of easing the pain and trauma that children undergo during hospital stays. 

More children are facing painful and invasive procedures, as medical advances have made survival possible for more premature infants and children with diagnoses including cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and congenital heart defects. Some three million children are considered “medically complex” at present, and their ranks are growing by about 5% a year. . . . Ongoing health problems have made many of these children frequent fliers in the hospital system. More than just temporary discomforts, fear and pain can lead to long-term trauma for children, studies show.

 Hospitals are using creative ways to help children endure the discomforts.

Hospitals take children on pre-surgery tours of operating rooms so they know what to expect. . . . Some hospitals are experimenting with distractions during tests, such as iPads or special goggles that kids can wear to watch a movie while undergoing an MRI.

. . . When inserting an intravenous tube, staffers use a device called a J-Tip, which uses pressurized gas to send numbing medication into the tissue beneath the skin so the IV needle can be inserted into the vein painlessly. Children can go into the operating room ahead of time with an anesthesiologist and try on the mask that will be used to sedate them.

Read about other methods hospitals are employing here.

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