Bundles of FUN: Improving the OR Experience for Children


Bundles of FUN: Improving the OR Experience for Children

The operating room environment can cause stress for patients, especially toddlers, young children, and teenagers. For pediatric patients, this environment can cause significant anxiety that remains even with the presence of parents.  

We present three important improvements that can decrease environmental anxiety. They are: PEDIA anesthesia balloons, The Communicator™ transparent face masks, and medical clowning.  Let us examine EACH unique innovation. 

  1. blue, purple, and yellow balloons
    Pedia, the pediatric device for induction of anesthesia.
    Anesthesia PEDIA Balloons  
    mask induction is the most stressful part of surgery for a child
    , pediatric distraction during induction is key. Anesthesia providers do their best to distract a child from the foul-smelling gases in the mask by singing songs, playing a game, or offering an electronic device to allow a child to watch videos. In spite of these well-intentioned efforts, there is still resistance to the traditional mask. Since June of 2021, this distraction device is now available. The Pediatric Device for Induction of Anesthesia (PEDIA) is a colorful balloon that replaces the anesthesia mask for the initial moments of induction. The child chooses the color for their balloon. The PEDIA is attached to the end of the anesthesia circuit and given to the child. As the child breathes in and out, the balloon delivers the anesthetic. The child basically anesthetizes him/herself. PEDIA distracts and engages the child while fostering cooperation: No mask, no brutane, no fuss. For added fun, the balloon whistles as air passes. With PEDIA, the child uses their best coping mechanism: PLAY!  https://www.PediaLLC.com.  
  2. The Communicator™ Surgical Face Masks with Clear Window
    The Communicator Level 3 Transparent Background
    The Communicator™ Procedural Face Mask with Anti-Fog Clear Window
    Children are frightened by medical providers whose faces they cannot see. In the OR, providers are garbed in surgical scrubs from head to toe; perhaps the hiding the smiles from warm, friendly faces that may be the most important part of the surgical procedure for a fearful child. The Communicator™ clear face masks are FDA approved as ASTM Level 1 and ASTM Level 3, and ADA effective to allow lipreading, more facial expressions to be seen, and especially reassuring smiles. Children tend to prefer healthcare providers who sport The Communicator™ masks above those providers who wear masks covering their smiles; providers with The Communicator™ masks are rated as more friendly. Hospitals and medical facilities can order directly and see the immediate improvement in patient compliance and patient outcomes. www.safenclear.com 
  3. Medical Clowning with Tanya Chartier 
    Many may be familiar with the of dispensing medical care with laughter and clowning to alleviate stress for children who are afraid and have not yet established coping mechanisms for medical encounters. Tanya Chartier and other performing artists have been bringing joy and laughter to the young at heart for three decades. Changing a mindset or emotional state can be a critical and integral part of the medical approach to assist patients. Want to learn more?  

The integration of these three effective innovations can greatly improve the OR experience for pediatric patients. If you are interested in adding anesthesia balloons, The Communicator™ masks with clear windows, or clowning to your OR, please contact the authors directly. 


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