Replacing anesthesia with TV?

Can entertainment replace anesthesia in pediatric radiation therapy?

No child wants to undergo radiation therapy. In addition to inducing anxiety, the whole experience can be uncomfortable. Radiation therapy requires patients to remain absolutely still, which is a notoriously difficult feat for most youngsters. General anesthesia can help children remain still, but its use brings up additional difficulties. For many children, having anesthesia administered in the first place can be traumatic. And that's not to mention the fact that undergoing anesthesia requires patients not to eat in the hours preceding a treatment, which only makes it worse for young people who are growing fast and rely on frequent snacking.


Remarkably, a team in Europe may have found a solution. At this year's ESTRO conference in Vienna, Catia Aguas, a radiation therapist and dosimitrist Catia Aguas from the Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc in Brussels, presented a study in which video entertainment was used in place of general anesthesia. Not only does this method appear to work, but it is also cheaper, faster, and less traumatic.

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