When Apple created the iPad, little did they know that their invention would turn out to be a real world sedative. New scientific research shows, that allowing kids to use iPads before surgery requiring general anesthesia, lowers anxiety levels with as much of an effect as conventional anesthesia itself! Other than that, it was found that parental satisfaction and quality of anesthesia induction was higher in children who used iPads, as per lead researcher of EPICIME, Hopital Mere Enfant, Hospices Civils de Lyon in Bron, France, Dominique Chassard. In his words, he explained, "Use of iPads or other tablet devices is a non-pharmacologic tool which can reduce perioperative stress without any sedative effect in pediatric ambulatory surgery."
According to details reported by TOI, the team compared the effects of midazolam (a sedative used regularly before anesthesia) in premedication with age-appropriate game apps (on an iPad tablet) on children aged 4-10 years during and after ambulatory (day) surgery. Anxiety was assessed both in children and in parents. Children were randomly allocated to one of the two groups (MDZ [midazolam-54 children] or TAB [iPad - 58 children]). Patients in group MDZ received Midazolam 0.3mg/kg orally or rectally, or, in group TAB, were given an electronic tablet (iPAD) 20 min before anesthesia. Child anxiety was measured by two independent psychologists from time to time.
The researchers found both parental and child anxiety levels to be similar in both groups, with a similar pattern of evolution. Both parents and nurses found anesthesia more satisfying in the iPad group. "The study showed that child and parental anxiety before anesthesia are equally blunted by Midazolam or use of the iPad. However, the quality of induction of anesthesia, as well as parental satisfaction, were judged better in the iPad group," Chassard explained.