'There is a lot we can do to provide children with more comfort'

- This article has been translated from the original version in Dutch which was featured in the magazine of MUMC+ (Hecht) - 

Working in both the hospital and at the Maastricht UMC+ faculty, what is that like? In this series, employees give answers to this question. This time, it is the Belgian pediatric intensivist, Piet Leroy, who was appointed as a professor in procedural sedation and analgesia (reducing consciousness and pain control through medication) in children at the School of Health Professions Education (SHE) in May.

"Critical care for children aged four weeks to 18 years was still in its infancy about 25 years ago, especially in Belgium, where I studied. I quickly knew I wanted to work in this field: I find children fascinating, and the technology of intensive care is challenging."

"I started working as a pediatric intensivist in Maastricht in 2001. I really appreciate the Dutch way of working: you stand next to each other and work interdisciplinarily. Additionally, I got the opportunity to be involved in education here. I find dealing with people who are learning very pleasant, and the combination with healthcare is wonderful. I bring sometimes intense examples from practice into education, and conversely, I bring new knowledge back to practice. I've also established my own research line focused on reducing pain and anxiety in children. Doctors don't really learn how to provide more comfort to children so that they have less unpleasant experiences during examinations and procedures. While there are many possibilities, from sedation to distraction techniques. I want to bring these insights into medical education. In addition, we implement them in small projects in adult care as well."

"Furthermore, we've established the PROSA knowledge center (PROSA stands for Procedural Sedation and Analgesia), where we consolidate all the knowledge related to providing children with care without pain, stress, fear, or coercion. This includes the knowledge we gain in our own PROSA team, where doctors can turn to when dealing with distressing procedures in children. The center also provides training nationwide with the aim of enhancing children's comfort so they maintain their trust in healthcare. That's also the essence of my chair. That's why I'm very pleased that our MosaKids Children's Hospital has made anxiety and pain-free care as an objective. This supports our ambition to implement such care hospital-wide."

The full (Dutch) edition of the Hecht can be read here. 

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