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  • Writer's pictureDr Kevin Rafferty FRCA

Journal Club: VR + RA a synergistic relationship!

Virtual Reality for PEripheral Regional Anesthesia (VR-PERLA Study).

J Clin Med.2020 Jan 13;9(1). pii: E215. doi: 10.3390/jcm9010215.

Author information 1 Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, 75012 Paris, France.

2 Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, 75015 Paris, France.

3 Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.4Sorbonne University, 75006 Paris, France.

4 Sorbonne University, 75006 Paris, France.


When used as an add-on to regional anesthesia, virtual reality (VR) has been reported to provide anxiety-reducing benefits and sedation-sparing effects. However, its impact on patient satisfaction is still a matter of controversy. We investigated the feasibility and benefits of implementing intraoperative VR distraction in a French University Hospital (Hôpital Saint-Antoine, AP-HP). This monocentric observational before-after study included 100 patients who underwent ambulatory upper limb surgery under peripheral nerve block in January 2019, 50 before and 50 after implementation of an intraoperative VR distraction protocol. Primary outcome was patient self-rated satisfaction score evaluated right after surgery. Secondary outcomes included 2-month patient-reported satisfaction score, perioperative self-rated anxiety and intraoperative hemodynamic changes. Compared to former standard care, VR distraction was associated with significantly higher postoperative satisfaction scores (10 [IQR 9; 10] vs. 9 [8; 10], p < 0.001) still reported two months after surgery (10 [10;10] vs. 10 [8.5;10], p = 0.06). Patient median intraoperative anxiety score was lower in the VR group, compared to Standard Care group (0 [0; 2] vs. 3 [0.25; 7], p < 0.001), and occurrence of intraoperative hemodynamic changes was also lessened in the VR group (2% vs. 16%, 0R = 0.11[95% CI 0.002-0.87], p = 0.031).

The present findings suggest that VR distraction program in the operating room could effectively improve patient satisfaction with anxiety-reduction and hemodynamic benefits.

Kevin's opinion

  • Another study that does show some potential benefit.

  • No harm.

  • Patients like it.

  • Regional anaesthesia has a wide variety of benefits over general anaesthesia. Including reduction in post operative nausea and delirium. If Virtual Reality can allow more patients to engage with this technique patients will suffer less side effects saving hospital bed days. Allowing more day case surgeries with less complications.

The Rafferty Distraction headset is the lowest cost solution in virtual reality headsets in the operating room. Using smart phone technology that we already have . The Rafferty Distraction headset is unique with the ability of enhanced medical treatment and monitoring through the ability of reversible mask integration.

If interested in purchasing the headset or a trial please email

For more information and latest advances in virtual and augmented reality please visit

Many thanks

Dr Kevin Rafferty FRCA

Happy patients, Happy carers

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