For a child, and a child’s family, the thought of surgery can be frightening. That’s why leading hospitals like The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio have worked hard to make the whole hospital experience comfortable, familiar and even fun. And, while there are tools of distraction at their young patients’ disposal like stickers, artwork and movies, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is putting their young surgery patients in the driver’s seat. Pint-sized vehicles let kids drive themselves to the operating room in luxury. The cars are proving to be the ultimate participatory distraction tool and making a huge difference.
Studies show that more than 50 percent of patients experience anxiety before surgery, which can be treated with oral medication. But, those medications can increase the time it takes a patient to emerge from anesthesia and prolong recovery after the surgery. At The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, they are employing a new fleet of non medicinal techniques of distraction. A yellow Lamborghini is the latest addition to the surgical hallways.
Instead of pulling a child away from a parent’s arms and leading them back alone to the operating room, a battery operated hot-rod eases that separation. By not focusing on the surgery as much, the child gets a much gentler and fun experience. These young patients are not being led back to the operating room by nurses and doctors. They’re doing the wheeling themselves and getting back some of the control.
It’s been a relatively small investment for something that makes such a big difference. The smiles on the way to the operating room are priceless.
Two recent stories, from San Antonio CBS affiliate, KENS 5, showcase how The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is driving results.
Or check out this cool video of some of the more recent cars and kids in action.