Using a Tablet Computer During Pediatric Procedures

We have discussed in our About Us section some of the immediate impacts tablets have in helping children cope with their stays in the hospital. However, these tablets offer more than just games and fun.

Research has been done to suggest tablets are making a significant impact in distracting patients. Children experiencing fear and anxiety often require restraint or sedation to provide doctors the opportunity to properly treat them. If tablets can help eliminate the need for these extensive measures, patients may feel more comfortable during their visits.

Let’s take a look a some real examples of patients using Apple iPads during their hospital visits.

The following examples are from a study conducted by Alisa McQueen, MD, Chelsea Cress, MS, CCLS, and Alison Tothy, MD.

Patient 1

“A 5-year-old girl presented to the emergency department with a simple facial laceration. She had no other injuries and required only simple suturing to manage this injury. On her arrival, she was fearful of the medical staff, and it seemed that she would need to be restrained or even sedated to safely accomplish the procedure. Instead, using the Apple iPad, our Child Life Specialist was able to distract her away from the pain of the local anesthetic and the subsequent painless but potentially distressing procedure of the laceration repair. She needed no physical restraint or sedation.”

Patient 2

“A 4-year-old sustained a laceration to the bottom of her foot requiring exploration and repair. After lidocaine injection, she was agitated even after the anesthetic took effect. Using the iPad to engage her in another activity and distract her from the task at hand, the procedure was accomplished safely without any need for further restraint while minimizing her anxiety.”

Patient 3

“A 10-year-old girl sustained a partial avulsion of her distal finger and required modestly complex nail bed laceration repair. She was apprehensive on arrival and, in fact, requested to be ‘‘put to sleep.’’ Instead, she and her sister used the iPad during the half hour procedure; she had no further anxiety, and the procedure was accomplished smoothly.”

From the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Emergency Medi- cine, and Comer Children’s Hospital, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Copyright * 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ISSN: 0749-5161

All three of these cases present observable evidence into the degree in which a tablet can positively affect children in stressful, hospital visits. Imagine if we could supply every children’s hospital with these devices. The need for restraint and sedation could plummet, making the entire process easier for children, their families and their doctors and nurses. That’s the whole idea of Pads for Péds. We want to alleviate the physical and emotional pain for children and their families during a difficult time in their lives. If it puts a smile on a child’s face, or makes their day a little better, we think it was worth the effort. Don’t you?

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