An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Virtual reality (VR) headsets are now being used on hospital wards to help keep patients calm during procedures. A trial at Kidderminster Hospital saw soothing sounds and visuals from them used to cut stress and anxiety. In one case, VR was used in place of sedation when a tube was inserted into a child’s vein for blood sampling, staff said.

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust says they are now a permanent feature in its hospitals. Dawn Forbes, a nurse specialist, used the technology ahead of a blood test and MRI scan for a patient with a phobia of needles. She said it enabled a cannula to be placed “quickly without causing any pain or distress.”

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