By: 13 February 2017
Videogame better than anaesthesia for small surgical interventions

‘Better a videogame than anaesthesia when it comes to reducing patients’ anxiety and pain.’

These are the words pronounced by US physician, José Luis Mosso Vazquez, who, inspired by his pioneer-colleage, Hunter Hoffman, tried to reduce as much as possible the use of sedatives and pain-killers in numerous clinical contexts: from operations with local anaesthesia to more serious, invasive interventions.

His most recent experiment, published in the European Medical Journal, describes how he asked a sample of patients that were about to undergo a gastroscopy to distract themselves with a 3-D game. Armed with special glasses and joystick, this group underwent their interventions and was later compared to another group, that had undergone the same — but with traditional sedation methods.

The data that emerged demonstrated how the first group (videogame group) had experienced 31 per cent less physical pain than the other group. Not to mention that with these patients, the medical staff was also able to complete the endoscopia in 30 per cent less time.

Source: West Welfare Society Territory

Reference: José Luis Mosso Vázquez, Brenda K Wiederhold, Ian Miller, Mark D WiederholdVirtual Reality Assisted Anaesthesia During Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Report of 115 Cases; EMJ Innov. 2017;1[1]:75-82.