Thank you for supporting our A&E appeal.
When a child like Arlo arrives at A&E, frightened and howling in pain, you might not think that a picture projector would be one of the most important pieces of equipment hospital staff could have at hand. But inspiring a child’s imagination with interesting, immersive images can transport them away from their pain, and make a huge difference to how quickly they can be treated.
Arlo was just 18 months old when he pulled a pan of boiling water off the cooker, scalding his face, hands and chest. Red and angry, his skin started to peel. The pain from an injury like this is so intense it’s almost unimaginable. Distraught, Arlo’s mum Gemma rushed him into A&E, however Arlo was simply too distressed to be treated. Staff were left with two choices; give Arlo a powerful painkiller like morphine in order to give him first stage treatment, or immediately transfer him to the Paediatric Burns Unit where they use innovative distraction equipment and techniques to calm injured children down.
Arlo’s mum chose the latter and the effect was incredible. Where A&E is bright and harsh, controlled lighting systems in the burns unit create a calm, soothing atmosphere. Twinkling fibre optic lights in the ceiling resemble the night sky, while images of outer space and cartoon aliens are projected onto the wall. Distracted from his pain by these magical worlds, Arlo calmed down almost immediately. While Arlo was exploring outer space, staff were able to treat his wounds and within the hour he was on his way home.
Arlo’s experience was so positive he still refers to the hospital as his “happy place”.
With your support we can transform the environment at your A&E, enabling the hospital to provide better quality care. A calm patient is far easier to diagnose, treat and ultimately discharge than one who is anxious, frightened or in terrible pain. These improvements will allow staff to deal immediately with young patients like Arlo in A&E, reducing both stress and waiting time and making A&E a better place for everyone.