People have used their iPads for many things. However, using it as a sedative for an operation has to be a first.
The Assaoicate Press is reporting that a great-grandmother has chosen to use Apple’s iPad Tablet PC to distract her during knee replacement surgery instead of being sedated.
“Janet Blank, 65, is the first patient to choose the distraction method during surgery at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. Ms Blank was awake and “heard everything” during her total knee replacement, which she had under spinal anaesthesia last Friday,” the report explains.
It was reported that Ms Blank listened to her favourite radio show during the surgery and later say she would recommend the technique to anyone.
“The benefits of avoiding sedation drugs include reducing sickness, drowsiness and confusion after operations. Surgeons are also able to communicate with the patient during procedures,” according to the report.
“I heard everything, the hammer and drill but it didn’t bother me at all,” she said.
“I didn’t feel any pain and I actually watched the screen when they put the nerve block down my leg which was fascinating.
“I went to the recovery room after the operation and then straight up to the ward. I’d advise it to anyone.
“I didn’t actually watch TV as I prefer the radio so I asked to listen to BBC Devon, the Judi Spiers show, as she’s always good and makes me laugh.”
The new iPad was on loan to Ms Blank from the South West Regional Anaesthesia Group.
“By avoiding sedating anaesthetic drugs during the procedure we can reduce side effects such as sickness, post-op drowsiness and confusion. Staying awake may also be a safer option for patients with certain medical conditions,” Matt Oldman, consultant anaesthetist, said. “Another added advantage is that the surgeon can communicate with the patient during the procedure.”
“The use of spinal anaesthetics for this type of surgery is not new but until now we have not had anything to offer our patients as a distraction and as a result many patients have opted to have sedation throughout the procedure to avoid hearing or seeing anything,” Matt Oldman explains. “Typically the procedures last between one and two hours, which is a long time to expect someone to lie still. But with the new iPads we can offer a choice of music, films and television using the trust’s free wifi.”