How is virtual reality used during burn wound care treatment?

According to findings from a study presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), virtual reality has been found to lower the level of pain in some veterans with war-related burns from blasts and explosions.

In this study, veterans were asked to consider their worst pain and the negative feelings associated with the pain while having wound treatment for 6 minutes. The treatment was administered using virtual reality and then without it. Researchers reported major reductions in each pain category during the virtual reality experience.

In other presentations at the AAPM meeting, researchers reported that low-dose ketamine given continuously via intravenous (IV) therapy helped pain control in some veterans suffering with gunshot wounds, explosion burns, and other combat causes. Ironically, the ketamine worked on soldiers with severe pain, dropping the intensity dramatically, but did not work on those with less severe pain.

Experts believe that because more soldiers are surviving burns and injuries that result in severe pain, it has made the treatment of severe and chronic pain much more challenging and necessary.

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