Video glasses to provide a welcome distraction for patients undergoing surgery, as well as calm their nerves, have been purchased by the League of Friends at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH).

The Oculus video glasses are to be worn by patients at RJAH during their surgery when they are staying awake and also pre-operatively for anxious patients. The glasses will hugely benefit patients, providing them with a distraction from surgery, reducing their anxiety and relaxing them.

The immersive video experience allows patients to be transported to exotic locations across the world, including beaches, forests, hilltops and waterfalls. Patients even have the option of watching films on the glasses.

The League of Friends were pleased to spend time with colleagues in the hospital’s Anaesthetic and Recovery departments, in order to ensure the right type of equipment was purchased.  The charity have bought four sets of Oculus video glasses, which cost just under £1,000.

Dr Ruth Longfellow, Consultant Anaesthetist at the Oswestry-based hospital, said: “Many patients feel quite anxious about the prospect of being awake during surgery, so it’s fantastic to see the positive impact these Oculus glasses can have on patient experience.

“Many patients don’t want to see or hear anything whilst they’re in Theatre, so we’ve previously used sedation to make patients feel sleepy or drowsy, but with these glasses we don’t need do to that.

“The use of sedatives and general anaesthetic can mean patients take much longer to recover from surgery, so having the option to avoid using these, and using an alternative anaesthetic, which is acceptable to patients, is a real advantage.”

Paul Baker, Recovery Nurse said: “We have also had great success with using the video glasses for children having surgery. They are able to watch the video whilst the cannula is being inserted and even as they go off to sleep, which makes it as stress-free as possible for them.

“I am passionate about using cutting edge technology for the benefit of patients, to deliver better care and leading the way with new ideas. Both Ruth and I would like to thank the League of Friends for working with us to purchase these video glasses.”

Victoria Sugden, League of Friends Charity Director, added: “This is an exciting piece of equipment, which has a lot of practical applications in making a patient’s experience of surgery less daunting. We have already seen the glasses help patients particularly with their fear of needles, which is brilliant.”

Pictured: From left, Cameron Bostock and Paul Baker, Recovery Nurses, trying out the video glasses.