DVDs muscle their way into modern medicine

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By Rory Reynolds

Hospital patients will be invited to watch their favourite flicks while the under knife, rather than be zonked out by powerful anesthetics.

Patients can tune into classics such as “Blade Runner: Final Cut” or “Doctor Dolittle” rather than being put to sleep during surgery.

The scheme was devised by medical guru Dr. Nick Pace who came up with the idea after seeing many patients who were too unwell to undergo a general anaesthetic.

He said: “Some patients with lung problems can be at more risk from a general anaesthetic, so we decided to give them a regional one – like an epidural – which cuts off sensation to particular areas”.

But Dr. Pace found that patients were too aware of the ongoing procedure, and introduced the idea of watching a DVD during surgery.

The patient wears earphones and has the screen just in front of their face – so they can’t see the ongoing operation.

Now even non-risk patients at both the Western Infirmary and Gartnavel General are opting to forego anaesthetic in favour of watching a movie, and even staff reckon they would prefer to watch a DVD if they needed an operation.

Among the favourites at the hospital are “The African Queen”, “The Sound of Music” and a fishing DVD that Dr. Pace found in his cupboard.

He said: “I had the fishing DVD in the house and it was about to be thrown out, but I added it to our library stock and it’s been a favourite with men.”

Dr. Pace has also found that movie-buff patients recover much more quickly than patients who have undergone anaesthetic.

Patients are also able to signal the surgeons if they feel uncomfortable and a general anaesthetic can be applied within seconds.

Dr. Pace added: “So far no-one has wanted to because everyone is keen to watch the end of their DVD.

“Often we’ll be working on the patient and suddenly they burst out laughing.”

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