A study has found that the amount of anesthesia a surgical patient needs can be reduced if they wear virtual reality (VR) goggles during the procedure, finding that immersion in a virtual reality experience while in the operating room (OR) reduces pain and anxiety to the extent that a milder chemical sedation is required. .
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, scientists at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Massachusetts, USA, studied the reactions of patients who wore a headset while undergoing hand surgery.
While they were able to request a sedative at any time during the procedure, the group ended up receiving lower doses than the control group who did not use VR.
They also spent less time in the post-anesthetic care unit and reported the same level of satisfaction as the control group, and it is hoped that these findings will reduce cases of over-anesthesia and its adverse side effects in the future.
Lead researcher and anesthesiologist Dr Brian P. O’Gara said: ‘With the increasing amount of time people spend at the keyboard along with our aging population, there is an expected increased need for common elective hand surgeries, and improving care for these patients will undoubtedly include adjusting anesthesia practices. “.
O’Jara added, “The purported benefit of virtual reality in managing patients with pain or anxiety is by providing an immersive experience capable of distracting the mind from addressing the unpleasantness of surgery.”
Doctors aimed to discover whether immersion in virtual reality reduces the dose of sedatives required during hand surgery without negatively affecting patient satisfaction. and tranquility, options include a meadow, a forest or a mountaintop.