Radiothon funds to help provide virtual reality goggles for young hospital patients

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Palmetto Health Children's Hospital team is utilizing innovative technology to help ease the pain for children undergoing procedures.

Virtual reality allows children to put on goggles and "escape" the scary hospital while they're getting treated.

The goal is to help the child take their mind off of the medical procedure and allow them to virtually see and experience something new.

The hospital has been using virtual reality goggles for less than six months and employees say they've already seen a positive impact for the children.

"We need these tools that are so important to get our kids through these procedures without anxiety and what we can do with this technology is we use it as an analgesia we don't have to use as much pain medicine which is better for everyone involved," Child Life manager at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital Christy Fink said.

The goggles can help distract a child from pain by allowing them to have a relaxing experience with music and nature.

"It captures all of their senses and so what that does it decreases their anxiety about the procedures that they are having and it helps us to help them master the experiences they're going through for healthcare," Fink said.

As for right now, Palmetto Health Children's Hospital only has one set of virtual reality glasses and they have 74 beds at the hospital.

They would like for each child life specialist to have a virtual reality set.

"Our goal is to make the hospital as less traumatic as possible and to keep it as normal as possible, so that when they come here they're not as scared or terrified," Child Life Specialist Abbey Anderson said.

The hospital is asking for support from the community to help fund new technology like virtual reality.

You can make a gift by calling 1-877-719-KIDS (5437) or 803-434-3000 and donate to the Children's Hospital Radiothon.

You can also donate on the Children's Hospital Radiothon website.