Hospital uses iPads to soothe young cancer patients

The iPad not only entertains kids, it calms sick ones, too.

The tablet is letting young cancer patients in Canada go without sedatives while undergoing radiation treatments by occupying them with movies and TV shows, according to a Canadian newspaper.

Until the experiment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary started, little ones younger than seven had to be sedated so they would stay still -- a requirement of the treatments, which can last up to 30 minutes each.

Now, with a tablet attached to the couch where they get their treatments, five out of eight kids between the ages of  four and seven do not need any medication to keep them from squirming.

"The children now enter the treatment room without fear to eagerly select their movie," radiation therapist Amanda Jacques told the Calgary Herald.

For radiation therapy manager Mona Udowicz, the iPad is letting the kids lead more normal lives.

"Eliminating sedation means these children can eat, go to school and generally be more active," Udowicz said.

Seven-year-old Jordan Feradi watches the iPad during his radiation treatments for brain-stem cancer.

"[The iPad] completely takes their mind off it and he was able to lay there and stay still," said Shawna Feradi, Jordan's mom.

Feradi has seen the tablet dramatically reduce the amount of time she and Jordan have to spend at the hospital.

"With sedation, you have to be there very early in the morning and that means I wouldn't be able to take my other son to school," she said. "Jordan doesn't mind going so much because you are in there for a shorter period of time."

And every minute counts for Jordan.

"There is no cure" Feradi said of Jordan's illness, "but the radiation has helped keep him with us longer."

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