Often children and young people coming to the emergency department at Milton Keynes University Hospital find the visit challenging, uncomfortable or distressing. Being assessed and treated by the team can result in young patients becoming anxious, crying, shouting or physically resisting staff. This is not only distressing for them, but also for parents and carers, and staff attempting to carry out treatment or consultations.
Distraction and play are tactics used by teams to support children and young people and can make a huge difference to patients undergoing procedures or tests. The new distraction machine purchased with charity funds is a dedicated 3D Distraction Machine that can be used for babies, children or teenagers who need to visit the Paediatric Emergency Department.
The Milton Keynes Peadiatric Emergency Department team, who last year raised £11,000 to purchase the device, have already used it on multiple young patients coming through the Emergency Department. Claire and Bacardi who both treat patients in the department and were involved in organising the fundraising, told us about the impact the machine has had so far.
We have already used the distraction machine on a 7 year old boy with a phobia of needles. It was incredible to see him happily play a game whilst we were able to insert a cannula needed for treatment.
We also used the same game for an 11 year old girl, who required stiches to her head. She played with the games on the machine and was surprised when the stitches were done as she had been focussed on playing rather than the procedure.