Easing Anxiety for Our Littlest Patients

You create positive hospital experiences for children. 

Scraped kneeDid you know? Fairview Ridges treats 13,000
pediatric patients each year!
As a pediatric nurse at Fairview Ridges Hospital, Kelly Sichmeller cares for children in their most vulnerable moments.
Kelly knows that the care her team provides, while critical, is often difficult for children to cope with or comprehend. She sees firsthand the fear and anxiety that sets in when kids are unable to understand what’s happening to their bodies.
But thanks to your generous donations, Kelly and her team have been able to minimize children’s anxieties using an innovative, non-invasive tool: nitrous oxide.
Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide helps children feel more relaxed while remaining awake and in control. The child or parent place a small mask over their nose and mouth and simply breathes normally. Within minutes, the child becomes calmer and begins to feel less anxiety.
“Our goal is to provide every child with a positive, pain-free experience,” says Kelly. “We are helping to provide each pediatric patient with an expectation that coming to the hospital isn't scary or intimidating.”
No more sedation
In the past, providers had two options for helping pediatric patients cope with painful or invasive procedures: physically restraining an anxious child or medically sedating them. These options often create more anxiety for children and can impact their coping skills for future medical experiences.
Nitrous oxide, on the other hand, takes effect much more quickly than sedation, allows the child to remain awake, and is administered without any pokes for an IV. And unlike sedation, which can leave children feeling out of sorts for days, nitrous oxide leaves the body within a few minutes of removing the mask.
‘A positive, low-anxiety experience’
For many families at Fairview Ridges, nitrous oxide has been transformative.  Eliminating the trauma of going to the hospital can help re-shape how children view doctors and medical care as a whole, possibly for years to come.
“Knowing we impact how a child will respond to future health care experiences is incredibly humbling,” says Dawn Mahoney, pediatric nurse manager. “If we can provide them with a positive, low-anxiety experience, they will have a better expectation the next time they interact with us."
Fairview Ridges’ nitrous oxide equipment is funded by generous donations to the Fairview Foundation. Help us continue providing positive, anxiety-free hospital experiences for children by making a tax-deductible donation today.


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