Walking with dinosaurs makes treatment less scary
When you join our Evelina London family, you help unlock imaginations and support leaps in innovation that bring comfort and joy to thousands of children and young people.
Children like Ellie, whose worries and fears are carried away thanks to trailblazing virtual reality (VR) technology that has only been made possible thanks to our incredible supporters.
Using one of the new VR headsets, Evelina London’s young explorers can now walk with dinosaurs, swim with turtles, or even soar into outer space, taking their mind off what can be quite scary treatments and procedures.
“We’re so grateful we now have the VR headsets. I’ll definitely be using them with more patients in future. But none of these benefits would be possible without your help – thank you.”
Sarah Stephenson, Play Specialist
When brave young Ellie, 10, arrived at Evelina London for a hip operation, she also needed blood tests and a cannula fitted before surgery but has a fear of needles.
Play specialist Sarah Stephenson says, “Ellie has learning difficulties so I knew she would need support to help prepare for treatment. I chatted to her and her mum to find out how we could make her feel better and decided to use a VR headset.
“Ellie picked a 3D game and was able to keep still during the whole process. We managed to fit the cannula on the first go and Ellie stayed happy and calm throughout.”
Sarah Stephenson, Play specialist
Research by the expert orthopaedic team on these headsets has shown that VR could reduce anxiety in children, helping to improve their hospital experience and ease young minds.
Enjoying a VR adventure may be especially comforting when children need a cast removed after breaking an arm or leg. Sarah says, “We normally have to distract children so VR is excellent for doing this. They can also wear headphones to help block out any frightening noise from a cast saw.”