HealthDay News — According to a study presented during a meeting at the World Congress of Anesthesiologists, which was held from August 28 to September 2 in Hong Kong, iPads work just as well as standard sedatives to calm anxious children before receiving surgery.

Researchers assessed 112 children between 4 and 10 years old in France who had surgery that required general anesthesia. Approximately 20 minutes before receiving the anesthesia, 54 patients were given midazolam and 58 were given an iPad to distract them.

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Anxiety levels in both groups of children and their parents were similar, but iPads conferred none of the side effects of sedatives, the researchers found. Also, they found that the children who were given iPads were easier to anesthetize.

“Our study showed that child and parental anxiety before anesthesia are equally blunted by midazolam or use of the iPad,” Dominique Chassard, MD, PhD, from the Hôpital Femme-Mère-Enfant in Bron, France. “However, the quality of induction of anesthesia, as well as parental satisfaction, were judged better in the iPad group”, she continued in a news release from the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists.


De Queiroz Siqueira M, Tosseti S, Marechal C, Cogniat B, Berthilier J, Chassard D. Effect of iPad Tablet on Children and Parental Anxiety During Anesthesia. Paper presented at: 16th Annual Meeting of the World Congress of Anesthesiologists; August 2016; Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China.

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