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Clowns farewell in operating room, easing anxiety in children

Pediatric patients have a special need when it comes to surgery that has to be addressed differently. The success of the surgery depends on the co-operation extended by this unique patient. Therefore every attempt has to be taken to ensure their comfort. //

You thought clowns only displayed their talent in the circus shows- Right? It has been found that a clown in the operating room may relax anxious children who are about to undergo surgery. It could be because these clowns provide entertainment thereby allowing for an improved co-operation from the patient’s side.

A study conducted among 40 children between 4 months and 3 years old showed a significant reduction in the anxiety levels before surgery. The finding is very valuable in view of the fact that three out of every five children suffer from anxiety before surgery. Surprisingly, reduction was also seen among parents who accompanied these children to the operating theatre.

The clowns though were successful in distracting the children until the administration of anaesthesia, were viewed as annoying when it came to doctors and nurses.

A questionnaire was distributed regarding the presence of clowns inside the operating theatre, the results of which revealed that clowns were indeed a benefit to the child. However, the majority of staff had opposing opinions regarding the inclusion of clowns in such a set up due to a perceived interference with the procedures of the operating room.

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