Virtual reality (VR) glasses are a new and wonderful way to distract children’s attention from the medical procedures, soothing both fear and pain. For example, while undergoing a blood test, children can wear virtual reality glasses that transport their focus to a totally different place, creating a more pleasant experience.
VR goggles can be used for blood tests, stitches, fractures and more. Once the procedure is finished, many kids are surprised to discover it’s over, because they never even noticed that the medical process had started.
Watch this young boy experience a different reality as he is prepped for a blood test:
The motto of our medical team highlights the value of reducing pain, suffering and anxiety in children who come to Sheba Medical Center for treatment. We take great care to give the appropriate anesthetic and sedation to make our young patients comfortable and at ease. Some of our strategies include:
- Local anesthetic creams are applied prior to setting up an infusion or making an incision, promoting as painless a procedure as possible.
- Laughing gas is used when suitable, because it acts quickly and is associated with a rapid recovery.
- Expert anesthesiologists determine the right type and quantity of anesthesia to be given before prolonged operations.
- Relaxation tools and methods are used, such as virtual reality goggles.
- The child’s pain is constantly assessed in order to make medication adjustments, as needed.
- Medical clowns help to relieve children’s fear, reducing their discomfort.
For more than a decade, medical clowns have been operating in almost all of the wards at the Safra Children’s Hospital (and in other wards at Sheba, too!). These clowns do much more than look and act funny; they are an integral part of the treatment team. Their job is to reduce a child’s anxiety and pain, promoting an easier and more efficient experience for the patient, the family, and the medical staff.
How do the clowns help? By using distraction strategies, play and humor. Clowns implement a wide variety of techniques, creating a world of fantasy and role-playing – a world dictated by the child’s imagination. Each clown adapts his or her toolbox sensitively to fit the specific patient’s needs, preferences and situation.
At Sheba, our clowns participate in more than 40 different medical procedures, such as taking blood samples, accompanying patients to surgery, giving injections and staying by the side of children who require tests because they have suffered sexual abuse.
The clowns work as a part of the “Dream Doctors” project. They are experienced artists and actors who have undergone a high level of professional training in medical clowning. Many of them have developed specializations for various units, such as oncology, child development and more.
Learn all about the beneficial activities of medical clowns:
Designed for Kids
The Safra Children’s Hospital is designed with children in mind. Bright and cheerful murals lead patients through the corridors, a music room uses the power of sound to boost moods, a cinema room ensures quality entertainment, unique playgrounds are built into the ward, medical clowns bring smiles, and we offer free gifts for birthdays and other significant events.
Meet the Director
In addition to his position at the Safra Children’s Hospital, Dr. Pessach is Chairman of the Resuscitation Committee of Sheba and a member of the Talpiot Medical Leadership Program for boosting new leadership in Israeli medicine. He is a renowned researcher and consultant to start-up companies that advance unique technologies for intensive care.
Amos Toren, MD
Director of the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Division
Prof. Amos Toren is the director of both the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department and the Stem Cell Transplant Unit. His particular area of research is in CAR-T Cell Therapy, and he specializes in pediatrics, general hematology, and pediatric hemato-oncology. Prof. Toren also has specific interests in bone marrow transplantations and the genetic aspects of hematological diseases. He received his medical degree from the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, and completed a residency in pediatrics and in hematology at Sheba. Additionally, Prof. Toren holds a PhD in genetics and qualified as a Master of Health Administration (MHA) from the Recanati Business School, Tel Aviv University.
David Mishaly, MD
Director of the Department of Pediatric & Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery
Dr. Mishaly received his medical degree from the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem. He specialized in cardiothoracic surgery at the Rabin Medical Center and completed a fellowship in cardiac surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, as well as a fellowship in congenital pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at UC San Francisco.
Dr. Mishaly, an experienced cardiothoracic surgeon, invented a revolutionary minimally invasive surgical technique that is used to treat congenital heart defects in children. At present, he is the only doctor in the world who performs this unique surgery. The cutting-edge procedure has a 99% healing rate and 100% patient satisfaction with regards to aesthetics.