How virtual reality reduces the need for patient anesthesia

A recent study from a Boston medical center found that giving patients virtual reality headsets may decrease the need for anesthesia, according to a Sept. 22 news release. 

Patients are often awake during procedures on extremities including arms, hands, legs and feet. Anesthesia must be used to numb areas and lessen patient anxiety. 

Over a period of eight months, Boston researchers looked at 34 patients undergoing hand surgeries. They broke patients up into two groups, and while both groups received intravenous sedation during the procedure, one group received VR headsets playing anxiety-reducing programs. 

The group with the headsets needed less sedation during the procedure than the control group, and their post-surgical recovery period was shorter. 

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