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The study was recently at this year’s World Congress of Anesthesiologists (WCA) in Hong Kong, and looked at over 100 kids between the ages of 4 and 10. The subjects were divided into 2 cohorts: those who received 0.3mg of midazolam (MDZ), and those who were given an iPad for 20 minutes before anesthesia. Researchers evaluated children’s anxiety when they arrived at the hospital, when they were separated from parents, during induction, and in the post anesthesia care unit. Parental anxiety was assessed at the same time points, except for during induction when they were not present (but were likely still very anxious).
“Our study showed that child and parental anxiety before anesthesia are equally blunted by midazolam or use of the iPad,” explained Dr. Dominique Chassard, the author of the study. “However, the quality of induction of anesthesia, as well as parental satisfaction, were judged better in the iPad group.” That means in every case, tablets were as effective as sedatives, and in some cases they worked better — results you might want to attempt to recreate during bedtime. Now, if only researchers could find a better way to sedate parents who still want to fight about screen time.